Now, teams are lining up to get Evans before the Feb. 8 trade deadline. The Celtics, Sixers, Thunder and Cavs are among the teams that reportedly have interest in what has been one of the best bargains in the NBA.
You can see why Danny Ainge would want the nine-year veteran: Some nights, Kyrie Irving is the Celtics’ only dependable scorer. That won’t cut it when the Celtics begin what they hope is a long playoff run this spring.
The Sixers are hopeful of nailing down their first postseason spot since undertaking "The Process." Lottery-bound since 2012, Evans, enjoying his best scoring season (19.4 points per game) since his rookie campaign with the Kings, might help them clinch a top-eight finish in the East. J.J. Redick is still working his way back from an injury to his left leg, and the Sixers know all too well that Markelle Fultz is not going to be able to contribute in his rookie season.
Then again, Evans is seen as the perfect fit in Oklahoma City. The Thunder’s bench is, to put it nicely, just this side of feeble, with only Raymond Felton presenting a threat to score. So Evans, who was compared to Dwyane Wade by former Heat assistant and Grizzlies head coach Dave Fizdale, would be a boost for Russell Westbrook and the Thunder’s "Big Three."
The Cavs? The 6-6 Evans would give them much-needed size in the backcourt to go along with his improved 3-point shooting.
Evans has only four playoff games on his resume, all of which came when he was a member of the Pelicans in 2015. But he’s being viewed — along with the Clippers’ Lou Williams, a veteran of 52 playoff games — as one of the top available scorers who will be joining a new team in the coming days.
The Grizzlies don’t expect to get much more than a first-round pick for Evans. But with Mike Conley out for the season with a heel injury and the Grizzlies refusing to discuss Marc Gasol in potential deals, at least Evans will get them the kind of asset they need going forward.
And what a break this would be for Evans, one of only four NBA rookies in history (with Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Oscar Robertson) to average at least 20 points, five assists and five rebounds per game. It was only seven months ago when it didn’t look like anyone wanted him. Now, he can look forward to leaving a losing situation and hooking up with a playoff team.
Courtesy of Sporting News