Thanks to the good folks on Boston Celtics reddit we have our first plausible Tyreke Evans trade to discuss. Shipping out the heart and soul of the New Orleans Pelicans has been a popular topic. It is important to note that this is fan generated and does not in any way constitute a report of actual interest between the parties (Dell Demps and Danny Ainge) that matter.
The original trade proposed is Tyreke Evans for David Lee, Evan Turner, and a 2016 First Round Pick from the Dallas Mavericks. That idea does not work within the CBA. New Orleans must take on less salary to work, or send out more.
I opened a discussion with Jeff Clark of Celtics Blog, where he expanded to an offer for both Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson. Clark wrote last night that the Celtics are looking for a "Go-to scorer" and mentioned Anderson as a possibility.
If the Pelicans entertained such a trade I have to think some package of picks are coming to the Crescent City. Just the pick from Dallas, which holds 1-7 protections, might not be enough. Before you ask, no, the Brooklyn unprotected pick is not even in the discussion.
Instead, maybe the Celtics could include the "first round pick" from Minnesota, which is about to turn into a pumpkin. That pick is protected 1-12 and if it does not convey will turn into the Timberwolves 2016 and 2017 second rounders. A slightly more valuable selection would be the Celtics own pick, with protections similar to Minnesota's if not for the entire lottery.
I really like this option from Phil Neuffer, who we first met thanks to the awesome work he does writing about the Cincinnati Bearcats and therefore Summer League Pelicans (and current D-League sensation) Sean Kilpatrick. However, I think Boston gives up too much in this scenario. R.J. Hunter is a promising rookie and his inclusion is a step too far.
Instead, I think this offer has some chance of being accepted, if the Celtics also include the Mavs 2016 1st rounder.
Jonas Jerebko was a solid contributor last season for the Celtics and finished the season with an impressive 2.60 RPM according to ESPN, good for 13th among power forwards. Boston posted a ridiculous 95.1 DRtg when Jerebko was on the court last year and this year the Celtics are an even better 94.1 the few times Jerebko gets on the court.
Far more importantly, Jerebko's $5 million contract next season is not guaranteed until July 3rd. The Pelicans could net a mid first round pick for Tyreke Evans without taking on any additional future salary. At this point that kind of flexibility matters.
Right now the Dallas pick slots at 18th in the draft. Completing this trade and allowing Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Jerebko, and Evan Turner to walk creates nearly $26 million in cap space along with two picks just beginning their rookie contracts. It nearly completes a reset in one trade. (The other, obviously, is finding a taker for Omer Asik.)
Tyreke Evans 1 of 4 players to be averaging at least 15 ppg, 6.5 apg, 5.0 rpg- other 3 are James (CLE), Westbrook (OKC), Harden (HOU).— Pelicans PR (@PelicansPR) December 18, 2015
Is that enough for Evans? I don't know what other offers are out there that Demps has heard. The Pelicans organization is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to transactions, injuries, or anything else you might want to know. What does worry me is the organization overvaluing their own players and therefore turning down decent deals in the hope of a home run that never materializes.
Tyreke's individual numbers might look great but the tape is telling an entirely different story. As Oleh mentioned Evans might have made some strides in Salt Lake City, a sentiment shared by Graham McQueen of Bourbon Street Shots.
I am less convinced. The time to sell is now and waiting out for great deal could leave a lemon on the lot. Trade away Dell.