This has been another lost season for the Sacramento Kings, who currently sport the second-worst record in the Western Conference. That lack of team success has left many to forget about the play of Tyreke Evans, who just three seasons ago was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.
Evans has been largely overshadowed this season by the ongoing antics of DeMarcus Cousins, who in addition to being the team’s leading scorer remains a suspension waiting to happen. The arrival of Cousins two seasons ago has helped to suppress Evans’ numbers this season. Following a switch from small forward to shooting guard this season, Evans is averaging a career low in points (15.3 a game) and assists (3.2 a game).
Despite that drop in production, Evans remains one of the league’s top talents and the only consistent player for the struggling Kings. He was drafted by the Kings out of Memphis with the No. 4 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and went on to earn Rookie of the Year honors by averaging 20.1 points a game with 5.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds in 2009-2010.
While the numbers are down this season, Evans has made a fluid transition to the shooting guard position opposite Isiah Thomas. Evans is shooting a solid 48 percent from the field this season, though he continues to struggle from behind the arc. He is a career 26 percent shooter from three-point range, but has been better this year while connecting with 32.7 percent of his three-balls.
With the first half of the season in the books, handicappers are looking ahead and formulating their NBA predictions for the stretch run. There has been some speculation that Evans could be dealt prior to the trade deadline. If that does happen, you can expect the Kings to continue their spiral into the NBA’s Western abyss.