Tyreke Evans

Report: Tyreke Evans agrees to four-year, $44 million offer sheet from New Orleans

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Tyreke Evans has seen a decline in his numbers in each of the three seasons since his first, when he took home Rookie of the Year honors with the Sacramento Kings.

There were reasons for that, including nagging injuries and a revolving door at the head coaching post in Sacramento under the team’s previous ownership.

But the fact remains that Evans has underwhelmed since that rookie campaign, yet is hasn’t stopped another team from expressing interest in him as a restricted free agent with a fairly high-priced offer sheet, and one that Evans has agreed to sign.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

Restricted free agent and former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans has given the New Orleans Pelicans a verbal agreement that he will sign their four-year, $44 million offer sheet, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the situation. The Sacramento Kings, Evans’ former team, will now have until three days after the free agency moratorium is lifted on July 10 to decide whether to match the offer.

Evans waited on committing to New Orleans in the hopes that the Kings would express a greater interest in signing him. But that’s not how restricted free agency works.

The Kings did what they had to by extending the qualifying offer to Evans in order to retain the right to match any offers that he may receive from other teams, and were wise to wait until Evans committed to one before coming up with a figure on their own.

There has been no indication from Sacramento on whether they’ll match, but as free agents continue to be locked in around the league, they may be running low on options. The Kings had their sights on Andre Iguodala, but rescinded the large offer they had out to him once he didn’t immediately indicate that he’d be interested in playing for them.

The Kings may try to sign and trade Evans to the Pelicans, who would seem to have too many guards on the roster with Eric Gordon and Greivis Vazquez under contract, and with a draft day trade for Jrue Holiday still pending. That might be a better way to go, unless the new management in Sacramento believes another head coach and a possibly improved supporting cast in the future will make Evans into a player deserving of that high-dollar contract.

Report: Age minimum still on table in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23:  The full draft board of the first 30 pics of the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft is seen at the Barclays Center on June 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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A new Collective Bargaining Agreement is expected to be finished soon, but with months until the current deal expires, both the owners and players can afford to take their time and get the details right.

Both sides reportedly agreed to keep the age minimum – which requires players to be 19 and one year removed from their high school class’ graduation – in place.

Or not?

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

Other issues, like the age limit for players entering the league, are still on the table. The league has long sought to increase the age limit from its current 19, and at least one year removed from one’s high school class, to at least 20 years of age. The union has talked about a “zero and two” setup, similar to that used by baseball — players can enter the Draft out of high school, but if they choose to go to college, they have to stay in college at least two years (in baseball, it’s three years) before declaring for the Draft.

The union wants to lower the age minimum. Adam Silver wants to raise it.

Most likely, the current one-and-done rule remains in place.

But a zero-or-two setup could be an interesting compromise. That would allow players certain they’re ready for the pros out of high school to declare for the NBA draft. In all other cases, Silver would get his wish.

Again, the status quo likely remains in tact. But it’s good both sides are discussing the issue to see whether there’s a better solution.

76ers increase Joel Embiid’s minute limit to 28

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, left, tries to get around Cleveland Cavaliers' DeAndre Liggins, center, and Kevin Love during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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Take comfort, chairs and staffers.

The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.

Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:

This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.

Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.

The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.

This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.

James Johnson dunks on Rudy Gobert in crunch time (video)

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Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.

But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.

Nicolas Batum bounces assist through Dwight Powell’s legs (video)

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The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.

Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.