Two years after being kicked out of the NBA, a notable former player is looking to get reinstated.
JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors reported this week that ex-NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans is hoping to be reinstated by the league soon. The 32-year-old is said to be training in preparation for a return.
Evans was “dismissed and disqualified” from the NBA in 2019 after violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program. He had reportedly tested positive for “drugs of abuse.” While it still remains unclear what specifically Evans tested positive for, the list of drugs that are categorized by the NBA as “drugs of abuse” includes “amphetamine and its analogs, which include methamphetamine; cocaine; LSD; opiates, including heroin, codeine and morphine; and PCP.”
When he last played in the NBA for the Indiana Pacers in 2018-19, Evans averaged 10.2 points and 2.4 assists per game. He became eligible to apply for reinstatement earlier this year.
Some players who were banned from the NBA under similar circumstances, like OJ Mayo, never played in the league again. But there is still precedent for players enjoying success after being reinstated from a drug ban.
Guard Tyreke Evans has been banned from the NBA for a violation of the league’s anti-drug program.
Evans, who spent last season with the Indiana Pacers, has been “dismissed and disqualified” from the league over a violation of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. Under the terms of the policy, Evans tested positive for a “drug of abuse,” and can apply for reinstatement in two years.
The 29-year-old played in 69 games for the Pacers last season, mostly as a reserve. He averaged 10.2 points in just over 20 minutes per game, and was set to become a free agent this summer.
It is unclear what Evans was banned for, but such a violation would have to be an intensely serious one. The only precedents in recent years would be Chris Andersen and O.J. Mayo, who were both hit with the same punishment. Andersen was eventually reinstated.
Here is yet another star that aligned perfectly for the Golden State Warriors to land DeMarcus Cousins.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Evans, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Indiana Pacers, was Golden State’s original target for their midlevel exception of $5.3 million. Evans turned them down due to the lack of his desired money and role, so the exception went to Cousins instead.
In a cruel cosmic twist, Evans’ rejection made the Warriors’ infinitely better off. Instead of adding the former Rookie of the Year (another ball-handler, which they have enough of, as well as an erratic shooter), they wound up with an elite inside-outside big man to plug their gaping hole at center right up.
Granted, Cousins will still have to prove his health as he recovers from an Achilles tear. But this is just another one of the unbelievable factors that converged in Golden State’s favor for them to reel in a fifth All-Star.
Tyreke Evans is arguably the best scoring guard left on the free agent market, and he has drawn interest from several teams. The Indiana Pacers are among those teams, and it sounds like Evans has a decent chance of signing with them.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that Evans has a meeting lined up with the Pacers and there is “interest on both sides to get a deal done.”
Evans has also been linked to top Western Conference teams like the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers, but those teams may not have enough money to sign the 28-year-old if he is looking for a sizable contract.
Evans averaged 19.4 points per game in 52 games with the Memphis Grizzlies last season. That mark was the best since his rookie year.
The Boston Celtics seem determined to get a first-round pick in any trade that involves point guard Marcus Smart, and now we have a better understanding of why.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Celtics have been so adamant about getting a first-round pick as part of a deal for Smart because they are hoping to be able to use the pick to acquire either Lou Williams or Tyreke Evans.
The Celtics are looking for an impact player who can score points off the bench, and either Williams or Evans would be a nice addition. Evans is a player Danny Ainge has supposedly been enamored with for a while. Williams is averaging 23.3 points and 5.3 assists in what has been a career year for him with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Smart seems to have fallen out of favor with the Celtics in the wake of an embarrassing temper tantrum, but Ainge has never been one to make desperation moves. If Boston can’t find a team willing to offer a first-round pick, they will probably just stick with Smart.
Despite holding the best record in the Eastern Conference and having just signed Greg Monroe for relative peanuts, the Boston Celtics are still not satisfied with their team from the looks of it.
According to a report by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald on Saturday, the Celtics are pursuing a pair of notable sixth men on the trade market: LA Clippers guard Lou Williams and Memphis Grizzlies swingman Tyreke Evans. Bulpett also adds that those two players appear to be Boston’s “main targets.”
Though the C’s already have one of the deepest squads in the NBA arguably, they still seem to lack a true go-to scorer off their bench.
Both Williams (23.5 points per game this season) and Evans (19.5 ppg) obviously fit that billing. Both are also largely expected to be on new teams come the Feb. 8 deadline.
The Memphis Grizzlies are planning to sit Tyreke Evans while they look to trade him, according to a report.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Memphis’ front office plans to sit Evans beginning with the team’s game against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
The idea is that they are protecting Evans from getting injured before they have a chance to trade him.
Earlier on Wednesday, The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported that the Philadelphia 76ers expressed interest in Evans. He says the Grizzlies want a first-round pick in return for the guard.
Evans is averaging 19.5 points, five rebounds and five assists per game for Memphis this season. These are his best numbers since his rookie season with Sacramento.
Sure, it’s fun to observe how superstar talent adjusts to a new habitat — Chris Paul finding his wings in Houston, Jimmy Butler howling at the moon in Minnesota, and Kyrie Irving projecting Force ghosts in Boston. But often times, the more rewarding exercise is pinpointing the summer acquisitions who have given their new teams the best bang for their buck in spite of little fanfare and infrequent appearances on World Wide Wob’s Twitter feed. Here are 10 players who have best exemplified that latter category so far this year.
*Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference and NBA.com*
Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana Pacers
If you love somebody, set them free from Russell Westbrook. That’s exactly what Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti did this offseason in dealing Oladipo to the Indiana Pacers as part of the Paul George trade, and the fifth-year guard has been on a killing spree ever since. Oladipo’s 24-5-4 averages this season are close to Miami Heat-era Dwyane Wade-type production out of the 2 spot. His 42.5 percent shooting from deep is a wonder of the modern world. Oladipo has become Indiana’s starter, finisher, and Messiah all wrapped up in one. An All-Star nod this February is probably a realistic expectation, which is saying something considering how much Indiana was questioned when they made the trade.
Enes Kanter, C, New York Knicks
While we’re on the topic of Oklahoma City refugees, here is another one who is having himself a nice little season. In between becoming The Empire State’s most beloved enforcer, Kanter is producing career-highs in rebounds (10.1) and assists per game (1.7) while also bumping up his shooting efficiency to a DeAndre Jordan-esque 60.2 percent. His defense isn’t just Shaqtin’ A Fool fodder anymore either, as Kanter is finally in positive territory in defensive box score plus-minus for the first time in seven NBA seasons. A fitting blue-collar bopper alongside the unicorn superstardom of Kristaps Porzingis in the Knicks frontcourt, Kanter is the sidekick that America needs right now.
Andre Iguodala’s numbers are down across the board, Lou Williams will presumably be starting for the rest of the season with Patrick Beverley out of commission, and Jamal Crawford has probably run out of legacy votes. As such, we should be getting a lot of new blood in the race to win Sixth Man of the Year this season. Here are some challengers to float your banana boat.
*Stats courtesy of NBA.com and ESPN*
Willie Cauley-Stein, PF/C, Sacramento Kings
The Kings’ bench is incinerating opponents with a league-leading 49.1 points per game this season. The effort is being spearheaded by Cauley-Stein, who has been a whirling speed demon on both ends of the court. Trillie, as he is better known colloquially, offers double-double upside nearly every night and has the speed, length, and bounce to pester both backcourt and frontcourt players on defense as well. Now that Sacramento appears to have settled on starting Zach Randolph and Skal Labissiere down low, we should be in for many more months of Cauley-Stein raising the roof as first man off the bench.
Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Los Angeles Lakers
In this year’s NBA Finals, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant — three all-timers who have claimed seven of the last nine MVP awards — operated at the height of their powers. But it was an under-the-radar Warriors forward who finished with by far the best plus-minus of any player in the series: Andre Iguodala.
Iguodala finished the series +60, 20 points better than the next-most impactful player (Draymond Green was +40). And the 33-year-old Iguodala saved his best performance for last, playing 38 minutes, scoring 20 points, notching a +18, knocking down two vital threes, and playing excellent defense on James in the decisive Game 5.
Iguodala played so well that the Warriors were able to employ small-ball for most of the game, as JaVale McGee didn’t see the court and Zaza Pachulia played only 10 minutes.
Golden State acquired Iguodala in the 2013 offseason in a sign-and-trade deal involving the Nuggets and Jazz. The next year, the Dubs signed Shaun Livingston. And in the 2016 offseason, they inked three veteran big men (McGee, Pachulia, and David West) to bargain-basement deals. The three combined to make $5.7 million — nearly $2 million less than Channing Frye.
Role players don’t draw much attention when they sign with a new squad, but these players often prove to be difference-makers — even on the most talented teams.
Here are 10 under-the-radar free agents to keep an eye on this offseason.
10. Ersan Ilyasova
Ilyasova is a 10-year veteran who has bounced around after spending his first seven NBA campaigns with Milwaukee. He’s suited up for five teams in the past two years, but he’s still a valuable piece. Most recently he was dealt from the Sixers to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a second-round pick and potential pick-swap.
This season he averaged 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game for Atlanta. It wasn’t his best year, but he did notch 31 points in a January game, and throughout his career he’s consistently put up double-digit points and provided a punch on the offensive end.
The Turkish big man, a second-round pick in 2005, presents potential suitors with an interesting skill set. He can stretch the floor; he’s a career 35 percent three-point shooter. He’s a good pick-and-pop guy and he runs the floor.
Ilyasova, 6-foot-10 and 30 years old, lacks lateral athleticism, so he struggles to keep up with guards on switches, but he plays hard on defense and is a good rebounder. He could be a key bench guy for a contender.
9. Tony Allen