Tyreke Evans says he’d have no problem coming off the bench for the Pelicans

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Tyreke Evans has started all but 10 of the 257 games he’s appeared in through his first four NBA seasons.

Given the horrific state of affairs in Sacramento during Evans’ time there — a period where the team never won more than 28 regular season games — there weren’t a lot of other options. And let’s not forget, Evans was the Rookie of the Year in 2010, so there was a more than legitimate level of talent there that seemed worth developing.

Evans signed with the Pelicans this summer, after the Kings decided not to match the four-year, $44 million offer sheet. But New Orleans also picked up Jrue Holiday from the Sixers (who made the All-Star team last season), and they still have Eric Gordon in place, who should be ready to contribute meaningful minutes at the guard spot, as well.

Despite his status as a starter to this point, and perhaps due to his new team’s crowded backcourt situation, Evans is open exploring a sixth man role from day one in New Orleans.

From Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

Evans himself remains unsure about his role. He has spoken with [head coach Monty Williams] — who professes to love Evans’ game and, according to Evans, has been drawing up plays for him. But the Pelicans they have not addressed his role or the team’s specific plans for Evans.

He is aware of the Ginobili comparison, though.

“I haven’t talked to the coaches or anything like that but that’s what they’ve been saying,” Evans told Sporting News in a phone interview. “When the season starts, I don’t know how things will go. Whatever role I am playing, I am definitely looking forward to it. I am going to go out there and play hard and try to win games.”

Asked if he would have no problem coming off the bench for the Pelicans, Evans said, “Yeah, definitely. I have never been worried about where I am playing. I am just happy to be in the situation and that everything has been worked out.”

It’s good to hear Evans saying all the right things, and considering the contract he received, along with all the talent competing for minutes at his position, it also makes some sense.

The good news is that the Pelicans wouldn’t have gone out and gotten Evans if they didn’t feel there was a role for him in New Orleans — even if whatever that is has yet to be determined by the team’s head coach.

Brandon Jennings signs in China for less than NBA minimum

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Brandon Jennings‘ 2016-17 season showed his problematic fit in the NBA.

The Knicks cut him, because the 27-year-old has likely already peaked and they’re building for the future. He landed with the Wizards, but they moved on because he couldn’t help them win now.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, Jennings is headed to China.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

NBA free agent guard Brandon Jennings tells The Undefeated he has accepted a one-year, $1.5 million deal to play for China Shanxi. Jennings hopes to return to the NBA after his season in China concludes.

Jennings’ NBA minimum is $2,106,470. Taxes matter, but it doesn’t seem he’s going overseas for the cash.

This seems like a decision the NBA made for him.

Jennings looks uncomfortable in anything less than a high-volume role. He’s also not nearly good enough to justify a high-volume role, except maybe on weak bench units on bad teams. But bad teams generally prioritize younger players.

Unless Jennings changes his game, he’ll have a hard time getting back into the NBA.

Report: Knicks signing Ramon Sessions to one-year minimum contract

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The Knicks have finally gotten their coveted veteran point guard.

No, not Kyrie Irving – who reportedly “very badly” wants to be traded to New York.

Ramon Sessions.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Hornets declined Sessions’ $6.27 million team option, an obvious choice. He makes more sense at the minimum. New York will pay just $1,471,382 of Sessions’ $2,328,652 salary. The NBA will cover the other $857,270, procedure for veterans on one-year minimum deals.

If healthy, Sessions might be the Knicks’ best point guard – damning with faint praise.

Frank Ntilikina, the No. 8 pick, is still a teenager and early in his developmental track. Ron Baker makes hustle plays, but no matter how much New York pays him, he’s overmatched athletically against even backups. On an unguaranteed contract, Chasson Randle might not stick into the regular season.

Sessions ended last season injured and is now 31. It’s far from guaranteed he remains healthy and effective, though his driving game could fit well in Jeff Hornacek’s offense.

If the Knicks are stuck relying on young point guards who in over their heads, that wouldn’t be the worst thing. Ntilikina and Baker and maybe Randle would get opportunities to learn on the job. And remember, New York has its own first-round pick this year.

LaVar Ball rants about female referee after his AAU team forfeits another game

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Remember when LaVar Ball – father of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball – pulled his AAU team off the court and forfeited a game it was winning?

In a twist nobody could have ever predicted, LaVar apparently relished the attention that garnered and again sparred with referees today at the Adidas Summer Championships.

First, LaVar received a technical foul from a female referee. A lengthy stoppage followed, and LaVar apparently threatened to remove his team from the court. The referee was replaced mid-game, and play resumed.

Then, LaVar received a second technical foul. He apparently refused to leave, so the referees called the game.

Afterward, LaVar addressed the situation. Via ESPN:

LaVar:

She got a vendetta, because she’s a woman who’s trying to act – I get that she’s trying to break into the refereeing thing. But just giving techs and calling fouls, that’s no way to do it. I know what she’s trying to say: “I gave him a tech. I’m strong.” That ain’t got nothing to do with it. Just call the game. If you’re going to be qualified, you better be in shape, and you better know the game. And she’s bad on both of them. She not in shape. She not calling the game right. And she don’t understand. So, now she’s trying to make a name for herself. So, she walking around like, “You know I’m the only woman in here.” Yeah, we get it. I don’t care if you’re a woman or a man or whatever. Just be good at what you do. Don’t try to step in the lane – she need to stay in her lane, because ain’t ready for this. Coach the little kids first and then come up. Because she ain’t did enough. She ain’t got enough on her résumé. I can tell.

I don’t know whether LaVar is sexist, but he keeps coming across as sexist.

This saga puts a dent in Lakers president Magic Johnson’s theory that LaVar is truly focused on training young players and NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s theory that LaVar would settle down once Lonzo got drafted.

Lonzo’s talent demands dealing with LaVar, who wouldn’t be the first parent of an NBA player to be difficult. But it seems LaVar might be a bigger sideshow than the Lakers bargained for. They ought to be wary of that affecting them – if it hasn’t already.

Heat: We didn’t offer Cavaliers trade for Kyrie Irving

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The Heat were among the six (or more) teams that have submitted a trade offer to the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Fake news, says Miami.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

Teams rarely go on the record to correct reports like this. Why did Miami do it here? It might have something to do with Pat Riley’s feelings toward LeBron James.

Other incentives are more clear. The Cavs want to showcase interest they’re receiving in Irving. The Heat want to protect their players from handling trade rumors.

Whether the Heat submitted a formal offer barely matters, anyway. They could’ve offered Goran Dragic straight up for Kyrie Irving. Cleveland wouldn’t have accepted that, anyway. Nobody has published specifics of any Irving offers, so it’s unclear any are viable.

Miami is willing to deal Dragic and Justise Winslow for Irving, per the same report from Wojnarowski. Again, whether the Heat offered that pair for Irving or just acknowledged that they would is splitting hairs. That shouldn’t be enough for the Cavs.

Bottom line: The Heat probably won’t trade for Irving. Whether they made an offer, planned to make an offer or just discussed parameters so far is a fight over imaging. It’s nearly irrelevant to whether the teams eventually complete a trade for Irving.