Only one letter today, and it’s from goodnight_punk: "It seems that the general consensus is that we've seen the best of Tyreke. I mean, I know he hasn't put up the gaudy stats that he put up his rookie year (in which, I'll remind you, his second options were some sort of combination of Carl Landry and Beno "Yeti" Udrih), but it seems like everyone has agreed that he's reached his ceiling. Am I just a reckless optimist for still thinking that this 23 year old has untapped potential? Most of my problems with his game (moving off the ball, the occasional ill-advised jumper, tunnel vision, disappearing for stretches) would seem to be correctable with a set system, set rotation and an NBA level coach provided that he buys in (he seems pretty coachable). If Thibodeau can make an imperfect Calipari guard an MVP, don't you think that it's possible Tyreke could make a leap under Malone? Not MVP or even All-Star (I'm still realistic), but am I crazy for thinking that with a good coach that we might see two-way star emerge from this?
P.S. - Akis, please bring back "Good/Bad/Ugly" when the season starts. Please and thank you."
Second thing first: Aykis16 will definitely be bringing back the GB&U. It’s one of the best things about StR.
I don’t know that there is a "general consensus" about Evans. We have at least a couple of members that think that he’s deserving of a max contract, and at the other end at least one member that likens him to Luke Ridnour in NBA stature. As usual, the truth probably exists somewhere in the middle.
There is no doubt that the fan base had huge expectations for Evans after his Rookie of the Year performance. And though Evans has improved incrementally, we have not seen the sort of move forward that has been seen in fellow 2009 draft picks James Harden and Steph Curry (or Jrue Holiday or Ty Lawson). On the other hand, he’s a far cry better today than Johnny Flynn or Brandon Jennings or Ricky Rubio. Evans is probably still a top five pick if you re-rack that draft today, so it’s hard to call him a disappointment. However, aspects of his game such as his court vision and his ability to move without the ball certainly fall short of even reasonable expectations.
Evans came into the league under Paul Westphal, who basically handed him the keys to the team and built the offense around him. When Westphal was replaced by Smart, Evans’ time as the centerpiece was suddenly over, as Smart hitched his wagon to DeMarcus Cousins. During Smart’s tenure, Evans played three positions and was treated to the same uneven minutes as everyone else on the team. Tyreke’s inability to stay consistently healthy did not help his cause, either.
All of this, combined with being a member of the most dysfunctional franchise in the league, has aided in stalling Evans’ growth, but the slow (though steady) improvement in his shot and his shortcomings as it pertains to moving and seeing the floor rest a lot on his shoulders. You have to think that he would have progressed a bit more under the Oklahoma City umbrella, or the past couple of years at Golden State.
To his credit, Evans has never really bellyached about the situation in Sacramento, and he didn’t pout through his myriad role and position changes. He’s never had a fellow teammate say anything but good things about him. This team has lost a lot of games over the past four years, but not because of Tyreke Evans.
At age 23, and under what appears to be a smart, solid franchise for the first time in his professional life, Evans could indeed be ready to take off to that next level. There is really no reason why Evans could not become the next Andre Igoudala, but he could also become an incredibly overpriced Tony Allen if he does not improve much more.
I think that Evans is worth somewhere between $40-$44m over four years, but supply and demand might drive his price up a bit. I’d rather pay him $48m over four years than lose him for nothing, because I think that he’s a lock (health notwithstanding) to recoup at least $9m a year in value, with a potential for much, much more.
Pick & Droll: Slot the current talent on the Kings. For example:
DeMarcus Cousins – Starting big
Tyreke Evans – Starting 2 guard
Isaiah Thomas – 6th man (guard)
Marcus Thornton – 6th man (guard)
Jason Thompson – 3rd big
Patrick Patterson – Bench stretch 4
Jimmer Fredette - 4th guard, shooting specialist
John Salmons – backup wing
Chuck Hayes, 4th big
Travis Outlaw, End of bench wing/stretch 4
Cole Aldrich - Unrestricted free agent
So we’re heavy on backup guards and bigs, and all we’re missing is three starters? Cool!
So how do you fix this (without sodomizing the trade machine)? Could Burke or McCollum or Carter-Williams be a starting back court partner for Evans as early as this year? Could Cody Zeller become the yin to Cousins’ yang? And what free agents are out there that are reasonably priced enough that they could come in, fit the current payroll, and be good enough to start? Dorell Wright at small forward? Monta Ellis at (gulp!) point guard?
As always, send your questions and topic ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Mail Sac is bereft of questions as of this writing, so there may not be a Mail Sac on Thursday (no pressure). Now go pontificate on the above subject matter, and jack the thread to your heart’s content, you little ragamuffins.