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How Tyreke Evans Can Fit Into New Orleans Pelicans Plans

April 14, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Tyreke Evans (13) takes a shot against the Houston Rockets in the third quarter at the Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Kings 121-100. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from NBA reporter David Aldridge, the New Orleans Pelicans (lol) have extended an offer sheet in the area of $44 million over four years to Sacramento Kings restricted free agent Tyreke Evans:

Let’s examine this situation a little more in depth. The Pelicans (lol) already have a shooting guard Eric Gordon slated to make $44.6 million over the next three seasons while playing the same position that Evans is best suited for (shooting guard). New Orleans also just traded for point guard Jrue Holiday, who just signed a similar four-year, $44 million extension with the Philadelhia 76ers last offseason. Add Austin Rivers and Greivis Vasquez to the mix, and New Orleans has quite the log jam in their back court.

Assuming that the Kings don’t match the offer sheet — and they shouldn’t, if they were smart — move would make sense for the Pelicans only if a). they are planning to play Evans at small forward, an area of need for New Orleans, b.) the Pelicans trade Gordon to free up the starting 2-guard spot for Evans, or c.) move Rivers and Vasquez and go with a three-guard rotation of Holiday, Gordon and Evans, who all can handle the basketball and make plays for others (Holiday averaged 7.7 assists per game last season, Evans 4.8 over his career and Gordon 3.3 in his career). Evans’ biggest issue is that he’s not a very good outside shooter, but he’s solid in every other offensive aspect, including penetrating to the basket, passing and rebounding from the guard position.

The Pelicans would be best served to move Gordon, who tried to hit the dusty trail to the Phoenix Suns before New Orleans matched Phoenix’s max offer sheet to keep him. And what have the Pelicans gotten for that max contract so far from Gordon? 17 points per game, 40% shooting and 40 missed games due to ‘injuries’.

New Orleans has a nice core with Holiday and last year’s number one overall pick Anthony Davis. Complementing them with a versatile player like Evans isn’t a bad move at all –albeit they overpaid for him — as long as they move the right pieces to free up playing time. Meaning moving Eric Gordon for a true small forward and some future assets should be their next top priority.

Tony Ramsey