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.
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.