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Five Quick Thoughts on the Tyreke Evans Trade

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There's plenty more roster, player, and financial analysis on the way on the Tyreke Evans/Robin Lopez/Greivis Vasquez deal as soon as the trade between the Pelicans and Kings becomes official (assuming it does) next week.

Some quick initial thoughts:

1. I need to look at this in more depth, but $11M per season feels very close to fair, market value for Tyreke Evans. Evans posted +4.1 offensive efficiency on 22.6% usage -- solid, efficient numbers on an absolute mess of a team. He gets to the line reasonably (4.8 FTA/36), contributes on the defensive glass (13.5% DRB), and doesn't turn over frequently (12.6% TOV). His PER last year ranked 5th among all shooting guards that played at least 50 games, behind only Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, James Harden, and Manu Ginobili.

And he's only 23. I don't think the fact that Sacramento wasn't willing to pay $11M per to Evans should be any indication that he isn't worth that amount.

2. I like the idea of Evans coming off the bench. Early reports indicated that Dell Demps and his team laid out a vision of Tyreke in a Ginobili role to the Evans camp at their meeting on July 1. While many scoffed at the idea that Evans would accept a bench role at all, if the initial reports were accurate, that indeed appears to be the case.

An Evans-Ryan Anderson (that'll be a fun pick and pop) bench would almost automatically be excellent, with Williams able to play a late game line-up of Jrue Holiday-Eric Gordon-Evans-Anderson-Anthony Davis.

In this scenario, New Orleans would still need to pick up a starting SF (possibly re-upping Aminu) and center, although the possibility of starting Anderson and moving Davis to the 5 remains in play as well.

The larger point is that positions are *this* close to being out the window entirely on this team.

3. An underrated aspect of this deal is that New Orleans picks up a very, very good insurance policy for Eric Gordon (you could make the case that Evans is a better player) that doubles as a very good complement and piece even when Gordon is healthy.

This might actually be my favorite aspect of the Evans acquisition. New Orleans is more capable of moving Gordon down the road now than ever before; if anything -- an unwillingness to play, injury, lack of fit with Holiday -- comes up, Dell Demps has his replacement on the team already.

4. While I like acquiring Evans in a vacuum, New Orleans gives up two players that started a combined 160 games a year ago; losing both Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez in this deal feels a bit heavy, especially if Sacramento never intended on matching the offer sheet in the first place.

Ultimately though, the Pelicans absolutely had to be sure they'd get Evans if they were to dump other assets like Lopez (who becomes fully guaranteed tomorrow). As usnfish repeatedly pointed out, the only way to achieve this was the sign and trade. Waiting a week to watch where various cards fell was simply not an option.

And so for the second straight year, Demps has acquired a very good restricted free agent via a sign and trade.

5. I still don't really know how I feel about this trade; I'll have a full trade analysis once it actually goes down.

I will say -- I like Tyreke Evans a bunch, I love the lineup combinations possible with a Holiday/Gordon/Evans backcourt, and my initial hunch, before running the numbers, is that if they can add one more shooter and one more decent defensive big, New Orleans will be in the 2014 playoffs. In the larger picture, I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing; I still think, perhaps motivated by Benson, the team has moved too quickly into "contention" mode.

Nonetheless, they're going to be young, good, and a lot of fun to watch.