Tyreke Evans, a restricted free agent, can’t sign an offer sheet until July 10.
But he can agree to terms on one, and though it wouldn’t be binding, it’s an extreme breach of protocol to renege at that point. So, Evans and teams can negotiate in good faith right now.
Once Evans signs an offer sheet, that becomes locked in as his next contract. Either the Kings match and he goes to Sacramento or they don’t and he goes to whichever team proposed the offer sheet.
He could be headed down that one-way road soon.
A source told Sporting News that the Pelicans’ offer is in the range of four years and $40 million, and that New Orleans hopes to bring Evans off the bench in a Manu Ginobili-style role.
The gut reaction to this is the Kings wouldn’t match this offer, but don’t be so sure about that reports Sam Amick at the USA Today.
Owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D’Alessandro and coach Michael Malone are expected to take part in the meeting, and a person with knowledge of the Kings’ thinking said they are considering matching the offer if he agrees to sign it.
A four-year, $44 million contract could start with a 2013-14 salary as low as $10,304,450. That’s the only number that needs to fit under the cap, which still hasn’t been precisely set.
If the cap is set at the expected $58.5 million and the Pelicans are willing to offer Evans maximum raises, they could clear enough cap room by waiving Robin Lopez, renouncing Al-Farouq Aminu, Xavier Henry, Louis Amundson and Roger Mason and waiving one of Lance Thomas, Darius Miller, Brian Robertsor Terrel Harris.
Of course, if the Pelicans add Evans, trading Eric Gordon – a move that clear even more cap room – would make a lot of sense. The backcourt would just be getting pretty crowded.