I will being doing a player profile for every player on the Pelican’s roster in the next few weeks. I will start with newly acquired Tyreke Evans.
Tyreke Evans was formally introduced by the New Orleans Pelicans at a press conference earlier today. The first words out of his mouth were, “Well, I just want to say, I’m glad to be here.” That may seem like an obsolete piece of information, but it means a lot to an organization that re-signed a certain shooting guard last summer even after being told he didn’t want to play there. Pick up the hint? It’s Eric Gordon. Phoenix is where he really wanted to be, but New Orleans matched their offer sheet and retained Gordon despite his remarks. Evans, on the other hand, wants to be there. And that really does mean a lot. Head Coach Monty Williams addressed this in his remarks during the Thursday press conference, saying, “Not only is he important because we are trying to get as much talent on the roster as possible, but he also wants to be here.”
But enough of this jibber-jabber, let’s get on to the actual basketball-related aspect of Tyreke Evans.
Measuring in at 6’6, 220 lbs., Evans is one of the few players in the NBA who can play the 1, 2, and 3. The question arises which position he plays best at. During the 2009-10 NBA season (Evans’ rookie season), he played 28% of his minutes at the point guard position, 37% at shooting guard, and 1% at small forward. His PER per 48 minutes were 22.2, 19.1, and 16.2 respectively. That season, Evans averaged nearly 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists and won rookie of the year, joining Oscar Robertson and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in their rookie season. So obviously he has serious talent. Fast forward to today, and Evans numbers have dropped EVERY SEASON since his rookie season. Evans went from averaging 20.1 points his first year, to 17.8 points, to 16.5 points, to 15.2 points in his most recent season. Some say injuries caused his numbers to fall, others say the King’s poor coaching staff, and others say he was not being played at the correct position.
(Credit Basketball Reference)
Player Floor Time Stats by Position
Player 48-Minute Production by Position
Now, I know what you’re thinking, if Evans is SO great at point guard, and not so great at the wing positions, why did the Pelicans trade for him if they already have an established All-star point guard in Jrue Holiday? They are simply collecting talent. They know Tyreke won’t get much time at point guard, but Miami has two primary ball-handlers, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, and it seems to be working out well for them.
In the end, Evans size, versatility, and talent will drastically improve the Pelicans team no matter how the coaching staff decides to use him.