How to Sign Tyreke Evans in Free Agency

USA TODAY Sports

Quick salary cap analysis based on "sources"

[Updated as of 7:23pm Central. This has evolved rapidly over the past two hours. Changed how Tyreke's contract is structured but not the overall number of 4/$44M - Fish]

If Twitter is to be believed, Tyreke Evans is near the top of the list for Dell Demps.

With that information as our backdrop, let's dive into the numbers. The qualifying offer on the table from Sacramento is $6,927,157. I fully expect that any offer from the Pelicans will exceed that number. As I noted here after Jrue Holiday was acquired, currently the Pelicans are looking at roughly $5.8 Million in cap space. Sacramento has been reported to be interested in Greivis Vasquez, which increases the possible contract offer to nearly $8 Million. I still do not believe that is enough salary to get Tyreke's signature.

Two players currently on the payroll do not have any portion of their salary guaranteed who I think Demps would consider releasing. Lance Thomas and Terrel Harris are both scheduled to make $884,293 but can be released in the coming weeks for no cost. Thomas and Harris being waived create more space than Miller or Roberts and I think there is more basketball value from Miller/Roberts as well. However, there are then salary cap holds that come in the way. As Larry Coon notes here there is a minimum salary cap hold for every player under 12 currently under contract. That cap hold is $490,180 as mentioned here. For the purposes of my first chart I am going to have Demps ONLY waive Thomas and Harris and package Vasquez in a sign and trade. The contract offered to Evans is 4 years, $37 Million.

Age 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Eric Gordon 25 $14,283,844 $14,898,958 $15,514,031
Jrue Holiday 23 $9,213,484 $9,904,495 $10,595,507 $11,286,518
Tyreke Evans 23 $8,500,000 $9,000,000 $9,500,000 $10,000,000
Ryan Anderson 25 $8,308,500 $8,491,500 $8,500,000
Anthony Davis 20 $5,375,760 $5,607,240 $7,070,730
Robin Lopez 25 $5,119,761 $5,340,229
Jason Smith 27 $2,500,000
Austin Rivers 21 $2,339,040 $2,439,840 $3,110,796
Brian Roberts 28 $788,872
Darius Miller 23 $788,872
Cap Hold $490,180
Cap Hold $490,180
Total 24.0 $58,198,493 $55,682,262 $54,291,064 $21,285,518

As you can see, even keeping Gordon AND Lopez on board this is within reason. The Pelicans remain under the salary cap and could then utilize the room exception, explained here by Larry Coon, to add an additional contributor. Of course Tyreke Evans playing SF seems to be a stretch. According to Jonathan Santiago, that is not an option.

If New Orleans moves Eric Gordon the numbers could change drastically depending on what is received in the trade. In the Bourbon Street Shots podcast they talked about trading Gordon to Charlotte for a first round pick. If Demps is able to shed Gordon's salary at no cost take a look at the chart.

Age 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Jrue Holiday 23 $9,213,484 $9,904,495 $10,595,507 $11,286,518
Tyreke Evans 23 $8,500,000 $9,000,000 $9,500,000 $10,000,000
Ryan Anderson 25 $8,308,500 $8,491,500 $8,500,000
Anthony Davis 20 $5,375,760 $5,607,240 $7,070,730
Robin Lopez 25 $5,119,761 $5,340,229
Jason Smith 27 $2,500,000
Austin Rivers 21 $2,339,040 $2,439,840 $3,110,796
Brian Roberts 28 $788,872
Darius Miller 23 $788,872
Cap Hold $490,180
Cap Hold $490,180
Cap Hold $490,180
Total 23.9 $44,404,829 $40,783,304 $38,777,033 $21,286,518

Now I believe Evans is going to cost more than 4 years, $37 Million. I would guess that the offer on the table for Evans is contingent on both the sign and trade with Vasquez AND an additional trade which sheds Gordon's salary. But, as you can see from the above chart, paying Evans even $2 Million more each season (putting the contract into the range of 4 years, $45 Million) still does not hamstring Demps from a plethora of other moves. The Pelicans would have an absurd $11.5-13.5 Million in cap space after a sign-and-trade for Evans and moving Gordon along. Players received in the Gordon trade would reduce that amount. However, I would be shocked if cap space was eliminated entirely. And Robin Lopez is STILL ON THE TEAM waiting to either be waived, traded, or told that he is the man Monty and Dell want at center.

All this could be for naught if Sacramento matches or Evans does not agree to sign the offer sheet. It is reasonable to expect that Demps is going to make an offer he does not believe Sacramento will match and he is already working out the sign-and-trade ramifications out to ensure that his flexibility is not tied up waiting on Sacramento to match or not. There is no question this is a bold move. But if it plays out right, the future is oh so bright.

[Updated]

This bit of information came to light moments ago.

[Update #2]

Keeping me on my toes. This time with a reported number we'll add a new table. This assumes that Gordon is traded and no salaries are returned. Another option is waiving Robin Lopez but the numbers get really tight on that one if $44 Million is accurate.

Option #1

Greivis Vasquez in a Sign and Trade. Eric Gordon is traded someplace for a first round pick with possibly a euro-stashed player as well. No current NBA salaries are returned in the trade.

Age 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Tyreke Evans 23 $10,250,000 $10,750,000 $11,250,000 $11,750,000
Jrue Holiday 23 $9,213,484 $9,904,495 $10,595,507 $11,286,518
Ryan Anderson 25 $8,308,500 $8,491,500 $8,500,000
Anthony Davis 20 $5,375,760 $5,607,240 $7,070,730
Robin Lopez 25 $5,119,761 $5,340,229
Jason Smith 27 $2,500,000
Austin Rivers 21 $2,339,040 $2,439,840 $3,110,796
Brian Roberts 28 $788,872
Darius Miller 23 $788,872
Cap Hold $490,180
Cap Hold $490,180
Cap Hold $490,180
Total 23.9 $46,154,829 $42,533,304 $40,527,033 $23,036,518

Option #2

Greivis Vasquez in a Sign and Trade. Waive Lance Thomas and Terrel Harris at no cost. Waive Robin Lopez at $500,000 cost.

Age 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Eric Gordon 25 $14,283,844 $14,898,958 $15,514,031
Tyreke Evans 23 $10,250,000 $10,750,000 $11,250,000 $11,750,000
Jrue Holiday 23 $9,213,484 $9,904,495 $10,595,507 $11,286,518
Ryan Anderson 25 $8,308,500 $8,491,500 $8,500,000
Anthony Davis 20 $5,375,760 $5,607,240 $7,070,730
Robin Lopez 25 $500,000
Jason Smith 27 $2,500,000
Austin Rivers 21 $2,339,040 $2,439,840 $3,110,796
Brian Roberts 28 $788,872
Darius Miller 23 $788,872
Cap Hold $490,180
Cap Hold $490,180
Cap Hold $490,180
Total 24.0 $55,818,912 $52,092,033 $56,041,064 $23,036,518

Still able to occur under the salary cap. Nearly $3 Million in cap space to use and then the Room or Mid-Level exception. The team could add two more players and also sign Pierre Jackson at this point. David Aldridge recently posted this piece on the offer and Tyreke Evans. Interesting that even the offer sheet cannot be signed and official until July 10th. I think that limits the potential of Robin Lopez being waived. Lopez must be waived by July 5th. If Lopez is not being waived then a trade is in the works involving either Lopez or Gordon. Dell Demps has a ton of plates he's trying to keep spinning right now. The New Orleans Front Office staff must have a truckload of Five-Hour Energy on the way. It is going to be a long ten days for them.

[Update #3]

As expected, Robin Lopez is on the trading block. It appears from this that Evans is expected to come off the bench or start at SF. If Gordon was on the move I would expect some twitter rumblings by now.

[Update #4 - 7:23pm Central]

Even more. I've been staring at excel spreadsheets and noticed that there are some possibilities I had not accounted for thus far. Hence a new update and one "final" table, at least in terms of the Tyreke Evans move in a vacuum. As the above tweet notes, the Pelicans are shopping Robin Lopez. Whether he is traded to Sacramento in part of a S&T or elsewhere for picks or eurostash, the important point is that is the only move required to make the numbers work. Everyone else, to include Lance Thomas and Terrel Harris, can remain on the roster if Lopez is moved in concert with signing Evans.

Now, I do not think that makes sense from a roster standpoint because Holiday, Vasquez, Roberts, Harris, and Jackson are all point guards. But the point is that those moves could be made at a later time. It is not necessary to make all of the moves right away. Indeed it may be preferable to make the moves deliberately to appropriately manage what exceptions are available to be used. This scenario relies on Tyreke's deal starting at $10.25 Million with raises of $500k, the end result is still a 4 year/$44 Million deal.

Age 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Eric Gordon 25 $14,283,844 $14,898,958 $15,514,031
Tyreke Evans 23 $10,250,000 $10,750,000 $11,250,000 $11,750,000
Jrue Holiday 23 $9,213,484 $9,904,495 $10,595,507 $11,286,518
Ryan Anderson 25 $8,308,500 $8,491,500 $8,500,000
Anthony Davis 20 $5,375,760 $5,607,240 $7,070,730
Jason Smith 27 $2,500,000
Austin Rivers 21 $2,339,040 $2,439,840 $3,110,796
Greivis Vasquez 26 $2,150,188
Lance Thomas 25 $884,293
Terrel Harris 26 $884,293
Brian Roberts 28 $788,872
Darius Miller 23 $788,872
Pierre Jackson 21 $490,180
Total 24.1 $58,257,326 $52,092,033 $56,041,064 $23,036,518
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