Tyreke Evans said he was playing through a “throbbing” knee pain during the Pelicans’ first-round series against the Warriors.
Wednesday Evans had something done about it, undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, the team announced. While the team refused to announce a timetable for his return, scope jobs tend to be relatively minor, with 4-6 week recovery times.
Thrust more into a playmaking role this season with Jrue Holiday injured for long stretches, Evans played fairly well for the Pelicans, helping them to 45 wins and making the playoffs.
Evans should be good to go by the start of training camp next season, where a new, yet-to-be-named coach will try to blend the offensive games of Evans, Holiday, Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon. Oh, and get the team to play some defense, too.
John Calipari reportedly “desperately” wants to coach in the NBA.
Kentucky is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Calipari will reportedly get a contract extension that pays nearly $8 million per year through 2022. It’s unclear whether his buyout, which was previously $0, changes as a result. But the extension reportedly includes a $1.6 million bonus if Calipari remains at Kentucky on July 1.
That would take Calipari past the peak of the NBA’s coach-hiring season, but not fully off the market.
Jason Kidd (Bucks), Lionel Hollins (Nets) and Byron Scott (Lakers) all got hired after July 1 last year. Notably, Brad Stevens (Celtics) jumped from college to the pros after July 1 the year prior.
The Pelicans have an opening after firing Monty Williams and two former Calipari players in Anthony Davis (Kentucky) and Tyreke Evans. Cleveland – i.e., LeBron James – doesn’t seem totally sold on David Blatt. Remember, the Cavaliers pursued Calipari last summer, and the coach is close with LeBron.
The Nuggets and Magic don’t necessarily need previous Calipari ties to pursue him, and other jobs will likely open this offseason.
A $1.6 million bonus on July 1 certainly makes it more likely Calipari remains at Kentucky. But if Calipari finds a situation he likes, I doubt $1.6 million will keep him from the NBA – and there’s a chance he won’t have to choose between the two.
Most Improved Player voters honored the right player – the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler.
As far as the rest of the voting?
With a difficult-to-define award like this, let’s just say plenty of voters – intentionally or not – showed bias toward the team they covered. Thirty players received votes, and though none of the recipients are horrid choices, it’s difficult to make the case many of them were among the three most-improved players in the entire league.
Here’s the full voting:
Player (team) first-place votes, second-place votes, third-place votes, points
- Jimmy Butler (Chicago) 92-23-6-535
- Draymond Green (Golden State) 11-43-16-200
- Rudy Gobert (Utah) 12-32-33-189
- Hassan Whiteside (Miami) 5-12-27-88
- Klay Thompson (Golden State) 2-8-8-42
- Anthony Davis (New Orleans) 4-2-1-27
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milw) 1-3-8-22
- Donatas Motiejunas (Houston) 0-1-4-7
- Dennis Schröder (Atlanta) 0-1-3-6
- DeMarre Carroll (Atlanta) 1-0-0-5
- Tyler Zeller (Boston) 1-0-0-5
- DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento) 0-1-1-4
- Khris Middleton (Milwaukee) 0-0-4-4
- Kyrie Irving (Cleveland) 0-0-3-3
- Victor Oladipo (Orlando) 0-1-0-3
- DeAndre Jordan (L.A. Clippers) 0-1-0-3
- Jae Crowder (Boston) 0-1-0-3
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Detroit) 0-0-2-2
- Nikola Vucevic (Orlando) 0-0-2-2
- Robert Covington (Philadelphia) 0-0-1-1
- Tyreke Evans (New Orleans) 0-0-1-1
- Derrick Favors (Utah) 0-0-1-1
- Marc Gasol (Memphis) 0-0-1-1
- Tobias Harris (Orlando) 0-0-1-1
- Gordon Hayward (Utah) 0-0-1-1
- George Hill (Indiana) 0-0-1-1
- Enes Kanter (Oklahoma City) 0-0-1-1
- Brandon Knight (Phoenix) 0-0-1-1
- Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio) 0-0-1-1
- Meyers Leonard (Portland) 0-0-1-1
And here’s how each voter voted. If a player looks like an outlier, there’s a decent chance his vote(s) came from someone who covers him regularly.