It's the Fourth of July, and the fireworks have started early. Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee is reporting that the Sacramento Kings will not match the contract the New Orleans Pelicans have offered Tyreke Evans. Instead, the Kings will reportedly work to complete a sign-and-trade in which the Kings would receive back Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez.
Many Kings fans assumed the Kings would match the Pelicans offer after the Kings rescinded their offer to free agent Andre Iguodala earlier this week. This is a dramatic turn of events to say the least.
Tyreke Evans came to Sacramento as the fourth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and went on to win Rookie of the Year honors, entering rare company as he averaged over 20 points, five assists and five rebounds per game.
In return, the Kings upgrade both their front court and their back court. Lopez and Vasquez are both starting-quality players, although Lopez could come off the bench as a back-up to either DeMarcus Cousins or Jason Thompson. Vasquez will presumably take over the starting point guard role, and will be the best pure distributor the team has had in many years. Vasquez had a 44.9% assist percentage last season. Isaiah Thomas had the highest assist percentage on the Kings last year, but was at just 24.6%.
While this news comes as a shock, the expected trade gives the Kings two valuable pieces back in return. It's preferable to losing Evans for nothing, particularly if the Kings didn't see Evans as part of the long-term future of this franchise.
Hat tip to Evan Dunlap for the original Fanshot.