Tyreke Evans

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Marc Gasol: If Grizzlies don’t share my goal of continued growth, we might have to revisit things

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The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.

Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.

Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:

I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.

Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.

But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.

Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction

On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.

Grizzlies’ Ben McLemore out 12 weeks after foot surgery

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Ben McLemore‘s two-year, $10.7 million contract with the Grizzlies isn’t off to the best start.

Grizzlies release:

Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced that guard Ben McLemore has been diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. The injury occurred when he landed on another player’s foot after driving to the basket during a pick-up game in Los Angeles.

McLemore underwent successful surgery and will be out an estimated 12 weeks. He is expected to make a full recovery.

With the NBA season starting sooner, a 12-week timetable would sideline McLemore the first two weeks of the regular season. This a blow both for him and Memphis, which looks like an unlikely – but potential – playoff team in a stacked Western Conference.

McLemore, who never found his footing with the Kings, had a chance to become the Grizzlies’ starting shooting guard. At least Memphis has plenty of players who can play the position in his absence: Tyreke Evans, Andrew Harrison, Wayne Selden, Troy Daniels and Wade Baldwin. It gets easier to put one of the combo guards there if Mario Chalmers – who was very good in his last stint with the Grizzlies – is healthy enough to back up Mike Conley at point guard.

Report: Grizzlies signing Tyreke Evans to one-year deal

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The Grizzlies let franchise icon Zach Randolph leave for Sacramento.

They’re trying to soften the blow by already announcing they’ll retire Randolph’s number. Adding another local favorite – Tyreke Evans, who starred at University of Memphis – will also help.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

I bet Evans is getting the $3,290,000 bi-annual exception. The Grizzlies were already hard-capped by paying Ben McLemore $8,000 (!) more than than the taxpayer-midlevel exception.

Evans has spent the last few years toiling in New Orleans and Sacramento. He went from Rookie of the Year to forgotten nearly as quickly as Michael Carter-Williams. A one-year deal could allow Evans to rehab his value and get back on the market.

The Grizzlies can use Evans’ positional versatility with so many questionable perimeter players – from Chandler Parsons (injury) to Tony Allen (free agent) to Andrew Harrison and Wade Baldwin (unproven). Evans can plug in anywhere from small forward to point guard.

Buddy Hield’s 22 points lead Kings to 123-117 win against Wolves

Associated Press
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Buddy Hield tied a career high with 22 points, going 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and the Sacramento Kings got 66 points from their bench in a 123-117 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

Reserve point guard Ty Lawson had 21 points and 11 assists. Langston Galloway added 17 points and Aaron Afflalo scored 16 off the bench as the Kings recovered after losing by 28 points a night earlier at New Orleans against former Sacramento star DeMarcus Cousins.

Playing its fifth game in seven nights, Sacramento shot a season-high 56.4 percent to win for the sixth time in 15 games since trading Cousins on Feb. 21.

Andrew Wiggins scored 32 points for Minnesota, which had won five of its previous six homes games. A game after scoring a career-high 33 points, Ricky Rubio had 11 points on just 1-of-10 shooting, and added 13 assists.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

The Kings looked like weary road travelers early, as Minnesota had another quick start with 31 points in the first quarter. Sacramento had nine turnovers in the first and shot 43.8 percent.

The bench got the Kings back in the game and then Sacramento took control with a 26-9 run at the end of the third and start of the fourth. Lawson scored 12 points in the second half and was 11 of 14 from the free-throw line in the game.

Given a chance for more minutes since being traded for Cousins, Hield has responded in his rookie season. Hield entered the game averaging 13.9 points and shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 41.0 percent from 3 in his 19 games with Sacramento.

TIP-INS

Kings: Tyreke Evans, Kosta Koufos and Garrett Temple were ruled out for planned rest. . C Willie Cauley-Stein had 15 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season – all since the All-Star break. . Sacramento is 15-25 on the road this season, including two wins in Minnesota.

Timberwolves: G Zach LaVine was chosen the Flip Saunders Legacy Award recipient. The award, named after Minnesota’s former coach, recognizes excellence in community service and is voted on by the team’s players. . Rubio had his third straight double-double and 22nd of the season. . The Wolves are 19-20 at home this season.

 

DeMarcus Cousins carries Pelicans in first game against Kings

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins had 37 points and 13 rebounds in his first game against the Kings, and the New Orleans Pelicans routed Sacramento 117-89 on Friday night.

Cousins had downplayed his first meeting with the team that drafted him in 2010 and traded him away this February, but his play looked inspired. He tied a career-high with five 3-pointers and executed a tricky, crowd-pleasing, cross-court bounce pass during a fast break.

Anthony Davis added 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Pelicans, who led by as many as 32 en route to their eighth victory in 11 games.

Pelicans first-round draft choice Buddy Hield, who was part of the Cousins trade, had 13 points for Sacramento, while Ben McLemore had 15 points.

Cousins, who also finished with four assists and two blocked shots, received a standing ovation from many fans when he checked out of the game for the final time with a little more than three minutes left.

E'Twaun Moore had 13 points for the Pelicans, who shot 48.4 percent (46 of 94), including 10 of 33 from 3-point range. Jordan Crawford and Dante Cunningham each scored 12 points.

Skal Labissiere scored 13 points for the Kings, who shot 39.3 percent (35 of 89). Tyreke Evans, Willie Cauley-Stein and Gerogios Papagiannis each scored 11 points.

But the Kings had no answer for the front-court tandem of Cousins and Davis, who helped New Orleans finish with a 60-38 advantage in points in the paint. New Orleans also scored 27 fast-break points and racked up 36 points off of 22 Kings turnovers.

TIP-INS

Kings: Sacramento fell to 5-14 since trading away Cousins in a deal that also sent Evans, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round draft choices to the Kings. … Galloway finished with three points. … When Hield was shooting in the first half, the backdrop to the hoop was tourism advertising for his native Bahamas spread across four sections of seating. The season-long ad campaign had been launched after the Pelicans used their sixth overall draft choice last summer to select Hield.

Pelicans: New Orleans has won six straight at home, where it is now 21-18. … Davis became the first player in Pelicans history to score 2,000 points in a season. He needed 16 to hit that milestone coming into the game. … Cousins has hit five 3s three times in his past four games.