Many Kings fans, in the comments section of StR, the airwaves, and twitter, are upset with the sign-and-trade of Tyreke for Greivis Vasquez and a 2nd-round pick. The reason is that in their eyes, the trade wasn't fair: Greivis Vasquez and a pick just aren't fair value for a player of Tyreke Evans' caliber. And in a sense, they're right. In general, you want the value you're getting back in a trade to be equal or better to the value you're giving up. It's clear that that's not the case in this trade.
Sign-and-trades, though, are a completely different beast. Historically, teams have rarely (if ever) gotten back equal value to the player they are trading in a sign-and-trade. The reason for this is simple: the player being signed-and-trade is getting a freshly minted, market value contract. The team giving up the player is helping the other team out, either by adding a year to the contract or by not matching the restricted free-agent deal, but the team doesn't in a sense "control" that player. They have little leverage in the situation.
Perhaps the best example of this was the sign-and-trade of Grant Hill in 2000. Grant Hill was coming off a season in which he averaged over 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. He was a superstar in his prime. Grant Hill in 2000 was worth way more than Tyreke Evans in 2013.
What did the Pistons get back in the sign-and-trade? Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins. It's easy to say now that the Pistons knew that they were getting a future defensive player of the year, but that's not really fair. Ben Wallace had been in the league for 4 years, averaging 4.8 points, 8.2 rebound and 1.6 blocks in 24 minutes the year before. Yes, the potential was there, but at the time Ben Wallace was seen as a throw-in. Chucky Atkins was coming off his rookie season in which he had averaged 9.5 and 3.7 assists in 18 minutes. He was seen as the real potential piece, but the key word is potential. Ben Wallace panned out more than anyone could have possibly expected, but the reality is that the sign-and-trade value for Grant Hill, one of the top 5 players in the league at the time, was two young prospects.
I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the sign-and-trades over the last few years, and gauge the value received:
Anderson is one of the better stretch-4's in the league, a solid 3-point shooter and middling rebounder. Ayon played one half of a season for the Magic, averaging 3.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 13 minutes.
Evans is a very solid rebounder; he averaged 11.1 in 24 minutes last year. The Clippers didn't even get any value at all here- only the potential for value, and even then only the marginal value of moving up a few spots in the 2nd round.
Daryl Morey vs. The Knicks. Your argument is invalid.
Tyson Chandler is one of the best defensive players in the league, and they sent rights for two players along with him. They received Andy Rautins, who has 8 career NBA points, all for the Knicks. He never played a minute for Dallas.
It's easy to forget, but Childress was seen as an asset at one point. Mike Scott played 40 games for Atlanta averaging 4.6 points in 9.4 minutes.
Golden State signs and trades Anthony Morrow to New Jersey for a conditional 2011 second-round pick (not exercised).
Anthony Morrow is a solid scorer. The Warriors received nothing.
Cleveland signs and trades LeBron James to Miami for Miami's 2013 (top-10 protected in 2013-2014, unprotected in 2015) and 2015 first-round picks (2 years after HEAT satisfies other first round pick, top-10 protected in 2015-16, unprotected in 2017), two second-round picks (Milan Macvan, not exercised in 2012), and the right to swap first-round picks in 2012.
Lebron James is Lebron mother****ing James. The Cavs received a few late first-rounders and 2nd rounders a few years down the line.
Chris Bosh pre-Miami was one of the most highly regarded power forwards in the game. They received a late first rounder (they actually traded this for James Johnson), and got back a first-rounder that they had given away.
All things consdered, New York actually got pretty good value here in terms of future potential.
Utah signs and trades Carlos Boozer to Chicago for a protected second-round pick (not exercised).
Carlos Boozer was an All-Star forward, perhaps past his prime. Utah received nothing.
Phoenix signs and trades Amar'e Stoudemire to New York for a protected second-round pick (not exercised).
Amare Stoudemire was an All-Star forward with an injury history. Phoenix received nothing.
As you can see, it's pretty rare for a team to receive anything even close to fair value in a sign-and-trade. The fact that the Kings got a starting-caliber point guard back (who led the league in assists and was #2 in assist percentage!) speaks volumes about this new front office and their decision making. We need to lower our expectations of sign and trades and understand just how savvy this front office is.