The Tyreke Evans era was one of the more stranger times in Kings history.
Drafted at number four back in 2009, Evans had about as good of a rookie season as possible, posting 20.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game, putting him in the same company as some of the legends of the game en route to claiming the Rookie of the Year award.
With an inaugural campaign like that, expectations were bound to be sky high for the encore, and while it’s not like Evans fell off a cliff, his points per game average decreased in each of his next three seasons in Sacramento.
Despite being listed at 6-foot-6, Tyreke functioned best with the ball in his hands with the ability to control the game like a point guard. He was very quick off the dribble and could change directions with incredible ease.
Evans could break down defenders with his handles by getting them to lean in any way he desired and then explode to the bucket, or he could operate out of the pick-and-roll and methodically evaluate his options in order to determine the best course of action.
He also brought a certain highlight-factor to the court. Whether it meant euro-stepping his way in between two defenders or dropping no-look dimes to rolling big men, Evans could always pull out something special at any moment of the game.
Evans never bottomed out in Sacramento as some freshman phenoms do. He averaged 15.2 points in his final season as a King, which is by no means a terrible mark. It was just peculiar and upsetting to see a guy who looked to be a future star in the league trend in the opposite direction year after year through no fault of his own, as his team kept taking the ball out of his hands with every new floor general they brought in instead of realizing the special talent they already had on the roster.