Memphis Grizzlies wing Tyreke Evans has had an impressive campaign so far this season and could soon be on his way to a contending NBA team.
Sean Deveney reports the Grizzlies will pursue offers for more players than just Marc Gasol (via Sporting News):
“Expect them to be busy as they continue to reconfigure the roster. They’ve gotten a big boost from the play of guard Tyreke Evans, who seems to have rediscovered his game in Memphis, and they have already received significant interest. He’d be an ideal bench scorer.”
Evans has performed particularly well when in iso-ball for the Grizzlies.
He is beating defenders one-on-one and has been remarkably efficient in the process. His effective field goal percentage (60.8 percent) trails just Paul and Miami’s Goran Dragic on this play type.
Evans has also excelled on pull-up three-point shooting, handoffs and as a pick-and-roll ball handler.
These are the teams who may be in the market for a bench scorer like Evans, especially considering his relatively small contract is easily movable.
Oklahoma City Thunder
According to Deveney, it’s more likely that Oklahoma City decides to add another piece rather than trade George:
“Expect the Thunder to beat the bushes for another shooter who can help create space and, possibly, an additional defender. Depth is still a big issue, and that can be addressed.”
Evans would provide the exact type of player mentioned by Deveney as another shooter for Oklahoma City.
The only team who runs isolation plays more often than the Thunder (11.7 percent frequency) is the Rockets. However, their field goal percentage (38.4 percent) and points per possession (0.84) both rank Bottom 5 in the Western Conference.
On the flip side, no team has run fewer handoff possessions (1.7 percent frequency) so far this season. Among those with as many possessions on handoffs, the only player with more points per possession is Chicago’s Justin Holiday.
Deveney also wrote that the Nuggets will “continue to be aggressive in the coming weeks” as they look to compete in the West. Even though they may need most of their help rebuilding their frontcourt, it’s clear that the addition of Evans would help quite a bit.
He would have an immediate familiarity with head coach Mike Malone, who was also his head coach in Sacramento.
The Nuggets have the third-worst field goal percentage on pull-up three-pointers in the conference. But among those with at least 45 attempts, Evans is the most accurate pull-up shooter from long distance in the league.
Denver has the lowest points per possession (0.72) on isolation plays out of all teams in the league. And while only two teams in their conference run pick-and-roll ball handler plays less often than they do, this is another area that Evans has excelled.
However, they call handoff plays more often than any team in the conference. This is an area where he could excel.
The 76ers plan to retain as much cap space as possible for the upcoming offseason.
Evans, 28, is currently on a one-year deal and his contract will expire at the end of the season so it would not change this situation. Evans is originally from Pennsylvania and grew up around 20 miles from Philadelphia.
They have the third-worst isolation offense in the league and run isolation plays less often than any other team. They also run pick-and-roll ball handler possessions less often than any team in the East. No team takes fewer pull-up three-pointers than Philadelphia.
This may be because they do not have anyone capable of producing points on these play types. Evans would immediately step in to help the team as he can provide a service they do not currently have.
Evans plays multiple positions, which would be incredibly valuable for a team like the Celtics who look to make a deep postseason run this season.
Boston runs isolation plays on 8.4 percent of possessions, which is the second-most in the Eastern Conference. This shows they are more than capable of adapting his skill set into their current type of production.
Even though they do not run pick-and-roll ball handler possessions often (Bottom 5 in the East), perhaps Evans could step in for this play type.
Evans ranks No. 3 overall (1.00 PPP) among those with as many possessions on this play type, behind just Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard.
Deveney mentioned their front office will look to improve their abysmal bench situation before the trade deadline:
“The net rating of the Minnesota bench is minus-7.1, 27th in the league, thanks in large part to a terrible bench defense. The Wolves are badly in need of a reliable 3-and-D player off the bench, and they could find a good market for them next month.”
Evans is one of the top bench scorers and so far this season; he has already had seven games with more than 20 points despite not starting.
He would add to their strength on handoff possessions (46.5 percent accuracy), which is the second-best in the West.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have struggled to run an isolation offense (0.81 PPP) so far this season, which ranks Bottom 5 among all teams.