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Report: Tyreke Evans and New Orleans Pelicans finalizing offer sheet

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Reports indicate that Tyreke Evans gave Sacramento until today to make an offer. Absent that offer, there are now reports that Tyreke and the Pelicans are finalizing an offer sheet. Should Kings fans worry? Not so fast.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans is reportedly finalizing terms with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to ESPN's Marc Stein:

Jason Jones confirmed that this is likely in motion, as the Kings did not make an offer today as Tyreke's camp had requested:

Cowbell Kingdom had also reported this earlier today.

So now we panic, right? Well, not so fast.

There's still that whole "restricted" part of Tyreke's free agency. The Kings are free to match any offer Tyreke agrees to. If they like the terms of the deal the Pelicans are offering, they can simple wait for Tyreke to sign the deal and then match. In fact, there's no incentive not to.

Why not just make an identical offer? Well, matching that offer could trigger the Pelicans to raise their offer. Why drive up the bidding when you can simply match the offer on the table? (Boy, this feels awfully familiar, no?)

And if the Kings decide Evans isn't worth it? They still haven't lost out on anything. Tyreke can agree to terms with the Pelicans, but can't actually sign anything yet. Which is good. Once Tyreke signs an offer with another team, a sign-and-trade is out of the picture. But if he agrees to terms, well, that simply sets the terms of the sign-and-trade contract Tyreke would receive.

This is a negotiating tactic on the part of Tyreke and his camp. And it's perfectly fine. It's a negotiating tactic on the part of the Kings. And that's OK too. We have no idea what Vivek and Pete D are planning. But regardless of the path they take with this, not making a formal offer is likely a smart move.

Update: Sam Amick is confirming that Tyreke has made a verbal agreement with the Pelicans.