Pelicans’ coach Gentry says Tyreke Evans will not be ready to start season

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Tyreke Evans‘ right knee issues — he’s had three “procedures” in nine months — limited him to 25 games last season, and in those games there were plenty of struggles as he tried to adjust to coach Alvin Gentry’s uptempo style of play. Meaning he was just like almost every other Pelican.

He’s loathed by the fanbase but also is one of the most talented players on the roster — when healthy. Which won’t be at the start of next season, Gentry told Zach Lowe on the Lowe Post podcast.

“He won’t be ready for the start of the season. He’s in a rehab situation. I think for us we just gotta move forward with our season. And then, if he comes back and he’s able to help us that’s just icing on the cake.”

The challenge when he does come back will be fit. Evans worked best as a point guard with the ball in his hands, and when he played he averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game last season. However, he’s not as efficient when paired with Anthony Davis as Jrue Holiday, who will start at the point. Could the Pelicans play Evans, Holiday and rookie Buddy Hield together and make it work? The Pelicans put up good offensive numbers with Evans at the three last season.

Evans is in a contract season, he will want to prove his knee issues are behind him and he can contribute. It’s going to be up to Gentry to try and fit all the pieces together.