The comment sections remind me of seeing bingo played in some old movies. A large group of people attentively watch a game, watch how it affects them, and then someone shouts really loud and everyone pays attention for a moment. Now that the season is over and the GM hats have been passed out to the crowd, there are a lot of names being shouted out, one of the prominent ones being Tyreke Evans.
I’ll preface my thoughts with acknowledging I am a casual fan of basketball. I do not have the time to devote to learning every last intricacy of the game nor do I understand all of the concepts of the advanced statistics. But I figured the fanposts would be a good place to gather feedback on one potential prospect.
Mr. Olshey has mentioned multiple times that he is interested in acquiring parts that ‘move the needle.’ Evans is a needle mover. However, he is also a restricted free agent. That means we could be repeating the Hibbert episode, which, albeit entertaining, was ineffective as far as tangible results last year. (Perhaps that’s why we’ve been reminded from ‘inside information’ that the Blazers won’t be going the free agent route to build this team…)
Sacramento may be enticed into a sign and trade, but that also means giving up resources. But it’s also no secret that Sacramento is in a state of flux, they are a small market team with limited financial flexibility, they are trying to revolve their offense around Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins, and there is uncertainty with Evan’s long term fit in that system. In other words, the time may be right to get Evan’s at a reasonable price. In the words of one Sacramento blogger- “his value sucks right now.” But does he fit with the Blazers?
Evans is a career 18-5-5 player. And there is no question he has shown signs of being a very special player. Offensively and defensively he has shown the ability to take over a game. But consistency is one of his weaknesses. He seems to lack focus at times and looks lost, much like our complaints of Batum.
Evans also plays the PG position, which we have no interest in. So Evans would be asked to take over Matthews starting role as the SG. While he has made improvements playing off the ball, it is not his strong suit. He also lacks much of a mid range game. So defensively teams pack the paint and make him shoot 10-25 feet from the basket. (This according to some Sacramento media scouting reports). Apparently that’s a good way to beat the Kings, and based on their recent record, it may be working well.
In my opinion, however, the Blazers may be a better fit for Evans than Sacramento. First, it would give the Blazers a second ball handler who could relieve some pressure off Lillard and force teams to abandon the full court press. While Batum is a decent ball handler, he seems to have more of a propensity to turn it over in full court transitions than Evans does. Second, Evans is a finisher at the rim. He is an attacker. He attempts less than half the three’s that Matthews does, but scores four points more per game. That’s a component the Blazers could use. Third, he may not have to be super effective with his mid range game for the Blazers. The one thing the Blazers can do is shoot. Aldridge has a sweet mid range game. Lillard has already developed a nice floater in the lane, and we’ve all seen his shooting touch. Batum can shoot. And Evans has the vision to find the open guys when driving.
What Evans is lacking, the Blazers seem to have. What the Blazers are lacking, Evans seems to have. For those reasons, in my opinion, Evans could be a good fit. But listening to the Sacramento fans scream about his focus and inconsistency, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was as maddening to Blazer fans as he would be exciting to us as well.
(Note: Apologies to draper.younce for duplicating some of your points. I began writing this before I saw your post. I figured I’d post it anyway since you were breaking down multiple players, not just one.)