Tyreke Evans

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


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 The Kings had their sights on Andre Iguodala, but rescinded the large offer they had out to him once he didn’t immediately indicate that he’d be interested in playing for them.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: Rockets will try to sign Alessandro Gentile next summer

Alessandro Gentile, Paulius Jankunas
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The Rockets tried signing Sergio Llull this summer, but he opted for a long-term extension with Real Madrid.

So, they’ll just turn to another player in their large chest of stashed draft picks – Alessandro Gentile.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Gentile, who was selected No. 53 in the 2014, is a 22-year-old wing for Armani Milano. He’s a good scorer, but he primarily works from mid-range – an area the Rockets eschew. He can get to the rim in Europe, but his subpar athleticism might hinder him in the NBA.

If Gentile comes stateside, he’ll face a steep learning curve. But he’s young enough and talented enough that he could develop into a rotation player.

Report: Hawks co-owner made more money by exposing Danny Ferry’s Luol Deng comments

Michael Gearon, Bruce Levenson
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A terribly kept secret: Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. wanted to get rid of general manager Danny Ferry.

Many believe that’s why Gearon made such a big deal about Ferry’s pejorative “African” comment about Luol Deng – that Gearon was more concerned about ousting Ferry than showing real concern over racism.

Gearon had another, no less sinister, reason to raise concern over Ferry’s remarks.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

While Gearon felt that Ferry, as he wrote in the June 2014 email to Levenson, “put the entire franchise in jeopardy,” Gearon also figured to benefit financially from a Sterling-esque fallout.

In the spring of 2014, Gearon was in the process of selling more of his interest in the team to Levenson and the partners he had sold to in September. The agreed-upon price for roughly a third of Gearon’s remaining shares valued the Hawks at approximately $450 million, according to reports from sources.

“We accept your offer to buy the remaining 31 million,” Gearon wrote in an email to Levenson on April 17, 2014. “Let me know next steps so we can keep this simple as you suggested without a bunch of lawyers and bankers.”

Approximately five weeks later — just a little more than a week before the fateful conference call — Steve Ballmer agreed to pay $2 billion for the Clippers, a record-smashing price that completely changed the assessed value of NBA franchises. Gearon firmly maintains he was acting out of the sincerity of his convictions to safeguard the franchise from the Sterling stench, but such a spectacle also allowed him to wiggle out of selling his shares at far below market value.

Gearon and his legal team later challenged the notion that the sell-down was bound by any sort of contractual obligation and that any papers were signed. Once the organization became involved in the investigation, the sale of the shares was postponed.

Arnovitz and Windhorst did an incredible amount of reporting here. I suggest you read the full piece, which includes much more background on the Gearon-Ferry rift.

Considering the Hawks sold for $850 million, Gearon definitely made more money than if he’d sold his shares at a $450 million valuation.

Did that motivate him? Probably, though it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Most likely, his actions were derived from at least three desires – making more money, ousting Ferry and combating racism. Parsing how much each contributed is much more difficult.

What Ferry said was racist, whether or not he was looking at more racism on the sheet of paper in front of him. His comments deserved punishment.

But if Gearon didn’t have incentive to use them for his own benefit, would we even know about them? How many other teams, with more functional front offices, would have kept similar remarks under wraps or just ignored them?