The Tyreke Evans Sweepstakes
At the beginning of the season, who would have guessed that Tyreke Evans would be one of the most sought after talents at the trade deadline. Evans was drafted in 2009 and won rookie of the year in his debut season. Obviously expectation were high, but he has steadily declined and under performed in each of the following seasons... until this one. Evans is averaging 19 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game and is one of the lone bright spots in what is otherwise a train wreck of a season in Memphis. When the Grizzlies acquired Tyreke as a free agent in the off season he was viewed as a trial, just another body to fill roster holes and hopefully provide some bench scoring. Injuries, however, caused Evans to find more playing time than initially intended and he has taken the opportunity to drive his value skyward.
Rumour has it that several teams have contacted the imploding Grizzlies about trades to add Evans scoring. These rumours are justified by the fact that the Grizzlies have just decided to sit him until the trade deadline in order to avoid injury and preserve their precious asset. The list of suitors includes Boston, Houston, New Orleans, OKC, Miami and obviously Cleveland. My opinion of Evans isn't quite as high of that of these teams. Though I agree that his expiring contract is pretty low stakes and worth the gamble for a team looking to make a playoff push, I do not believe he is a good fit for a few of the teams on this list. I view Evans as a player dependent on rhythm and volume to stay effective. When Evans has a workload closer to that of a starter he can find himself in the flow of the game and he begins to thrive as a pillar of the offense. On the other hand, if he were to join a team like the Rockets, his limited minutes would render him much more... average. Don't get me wrong, Evans is having a great season, but many players do in a contract year and his playoff experience is not exactly that of a wily veteran.
The real winners of this situation are the Memphis Grizzlies who hit the lottery by signing him in the off season and will likely trade him for a package that is sure to include a first round pick. The rebuild is going to be hard in their small market but if they move Gasol and Conley while they still have value, Memphis could be on the fast track to a promising young team. As long as they build around Chandler Parsons.