Sports Opinion & Analysis

The Sacramento Kings Have More Problems To Worry About Than Trading Tyreke Evans

In NBA on June 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

There’s been a lot of chatter lately that the Sacramento Kings are shopping former Rookie-of-the-Year, Tyreke Evans.

Whether Evans plays for the Kings or not, if the Maloofs have their way, he’ll play in a different city soon anyway.

Don’t the Kings have enough to worry about than trading away the guy who, only two short years earlier, was being branded as the future of the franchise? The guy who joined Michael Jordan, Lebron James and Oscar Robertson as the only players ever to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in their first season in the NBA? Don’t they already have enough problems? I mean, Damarcus Cousins is still insane, and at any moment the entire franchise might probably pack up and be on a truck to Anaheim Seattle.

I would say that trading Evans is just an elaborate ploy by the Maloofs to further tank the team and make the city  more apathetic to the King’s potential departure, but I don’t think that’s the case. From what I’ve heard from fans, and what I’ve read on fan boards, a substantial portion of those who root for the Kings actually seem to support the idea. They suggest that Evans’ isn’t the player he used to be (even though he’s only 22 years-old and has been in the league for only three years), and that the real cornerstone of the future is Cousins (who got the coach fired last year, and then demanded a trade).

Demarcus Cousins? Cornerstone? See how well that works out for you.

I will agree that Evans hasn’t performed as well as he should have over the last two years, ever since Cousins joined the team, but I wouldn’t shun him because of it. At his age, Evans is still a developing talent with a high ceiling of potential. If he hasn’t been performing, I would blame the system, not the player, for failing to create schemes that utilize his talents. And it’s not as if the Kings currently have a perfect playbook they shouldn’t shy away from. If you look at their record the past few years, whatever X’s and O’s they have been following sure hasn’t done them any favors.

Evans has the potential to be a star, but you wouldn’t know that because he plays in Sacramento. He’s like Brandon Jennings in Milwaukee. If he played anywhere else, he could very be a perpetual All-Star. Trading him at this point of his career would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face, and if you’ve ever watched a Kings game the past few years, they’re already been ugly enough.

It’s not easy getting top-rated talent in this league, and at this point of his career, Evans is still far from being a bust. Rome wasn’t built in a day (although it burned down in one), and giving up on Evans now (which might yield results in the short-term), will be a serious setback to the Kings and a future of consistent, winning basketball. Keeping Evans though, and creating a system where he can thrive with Cousins, and whomever else the franchise intends to draft with the fifth pick, could set up another potentially young and hazardous “Big Three” in the Western Conference (here’s looting at you, OKC). The team is still young, and has an opportunity to grow together, and get better together.

And like I said, look at the Oklahoma City. While they’re situation was obviously different, they still didn’t give up on Russell Westbrook a few years ago, when things weren’t working out so great. And that seemed to work out pretty well for them.


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