Tyreke Evans is being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Kings will receive Greivis Vasquez. The Portland Trailblazers will receive Robin Lopez, who we originally thought might also be coming to Sacramento. Portland will send Sacramento two second round picks and cash considerations.
This has all come as quite a shock to us. And because it's unexpected, there have been some rather extreme reactions. But let's all take a deep breath and look at what's happening.
While many of us associate receiving cash in a trade to be a Maloof move, it's actually a very common occurance in the NBA. This does not make the new regime equivalent to the Maloofs. So let's stop that rhetoric right now.
Boo! Hiss! Second round draft picks, big whoop! Right? Well, draft picks are assets. Assets that can acquire other assets. Either by drafting players or by trading those picks for players. The Blazers just used those two second round picks and the oh-so-horrible cash to acquire a versatile center that many folks are upset wasn't included in the return for Tyreke. They have value. Plain and simple.
Now we're getting into the heart of it. Is Vasquez a good enough return for Tyreke? Of course not. They are not equal talents. They are different. And to expect equal return in a sign and trade is just unrealistic. Vasquez is, however, a player who can help the team. The front office made the decision not to match the offer for Tyreke. They could let him leave for nothing, or they could get a player who can help the team. They chose the latter. I'm on board with that choice.
so the Kings tried to sign Calderon and he decided not to come here. These things happen. It's going to take time before the Kings are viewed as a franchise worth coming to. I find it funny that Sacramento isn't viewed as a good destination at the same time free agents are interested in going to Cleveland or Detroit, but these things take time. The perception will change. It just won't happen overnight.
They rescinded the offer. It was baffling. It seemed like a sure sign that the front office would match Tyreke's offer. They didn't. Doubly disappointing, sure. But we're four whole days into the free agency period. And we're still in the moratorium where no players can officially be signed. I imagine that the front office isn't done. If they are, I'll pick up my pitchfork and join your angry mob, but I doubt we're done.
I've seen this tossed around here a lot today. Well, if acquiring second-round picks means you're tanking, then you and I have very different ideas of how a team successfully tanks. I'd strongly suggest reading Ziller's excellent piece on the difference between tanking and rebuilding. The Kings are rebuilding. We are still a bad team. We're a bad team with a lot of parts that don't fit together. You can't force them to fit together, we know this from the past several years. So some of those parts have to go.
Which brings us to Tyreke. I'm sad to see him go. I liked him as a player, and he was the best and most consistent player on the roster last season. I always wanted to see Tyreke achieve. He was such an important beacon of hope for us all for a very long time. It's going to be strange seeing him in another uniform. But that's an emotional response. The new regime doesn't have emotional ties to Tyreke like we do, and they didn't evaluate him to be worth a 4-year, $44 million contract. Or maybe they think he's worth that money, but just doesn't fit their plans for the roster. We don't know. We. Don't. Know. We need to wait and see.
We've been through a lot the past few years. We're used to being jerked around a lot. Kevin Fippin recently compared himself to a beaten puppy who cowers when anyone comes near it. We're used to owners screwing us over, promising one thing and then doing another. We're used to owners too cheap or management too shortsighted. So we're projecting that familiar vitriol at the new group. But it's been four freaking days. Rome wasn't built in a day, and the Kings' return to legitimacy won't be either.
These things take time. Let's all just take a deep breath.