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Removing Tyreke Evans from Pelicans equation could spark arrival of bonafide player

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The New Orleans franchise has their sights set on a game-changing swingman so moving Evans is key.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Tyreke Evans is one of the best players on the Pelicans roster, but the problem is that he doesn't exactly fit with the team's scope and strategies. In his brief 2016 stint, he averaged over 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists a game. These numbers look very good in the general scheme of things; however when Tyreke was on the floor in Alvin Gentry's system, the ball stopped moving and the offense became more predictable.

That being said, I opine Evans will not be in New Orleans when next year rolls around. He never fully bought into Gentry and I'm not sure the head coach bought into his attack-first guard. Whether through a buyout, trade, or the use of the stretch provision, Evans will don a different jersey next Fall.

Listed below are several different scenarios that accomplish moving Evans out of New Orleans while adding an enviable talent that fits under the Pelicans preferred modus operandi since the arrival of Anthony Davis.

Including Evans and 2016 first rounder in a package for Jimmy Butler

This first proposal becomes interesting if you have the right combination of assets to trade for Jimmy Butler. Oleh made mention of a variety of my scenario last Wednesday. If the Pelicans score a top 2 pick in the draft lottery, the Chicago Bulls would more than just entertain the idea of moving Jimmy Butler.

Things get significantly cloudier if the Pelicans stay in the sixth or seventh position in the draft. Most likely, New Orleans would have offer a Jrue Holiday type of package: select a first round pick on behalf of the Bulls and then trade their 2017 first round pick to Chicago as well.

Starter Reserve Deep Bench
PG Holiday Frazier
SG Butler Dejean-Jones
SF potential FA Pondexter Ennis
PF Davis Cunningham
C Asik Ajinca

One would hope the Pelicans could package away a seldom used center; otherwise, the Pelicans would need to add a 3rd team to the deal, preferably possessing a trade exception. If everything falls right, though, New Orleans could have in the neighborhood of 10 million dollars remaining in cap space.

The shoot-for-the-moon scenario: landing Kevin Durant

Obviously people are going to see Durant's name and automatically think it is a pipe dream. Trust me, I'm not the type to fish aimlessly. Between what I have heard behind the scenes and going on the knowledge that NBA players really want to have Anthony Davis as a teammate, there is a remote possibility Durant will have the Pelicans on some sort of short list.

By agreeing to come to New Orleans, Durant could enjoy the best of both worlds. With the salary cap set to explode again in 2017, it would be smart from a financial standpoint to sign a "LeBron James" deal in 2016 -- agree to a 2-year contract with a player option in the second. Next offseason, as a 10-year veteran, he can sign a max deal worth 35% of the cap. If he finds harmony alongside Davis, Durant would be excessively richer by simply invoking a conveniently built-in excuse.

In this scenario, the Pelicans sign Durant, keep their first round draft pick and trade Evans for an exception, OR if Davis fails to make an All-NBA team, Evans could be removed via the stretch provision to open the close to $25 million necessary to sign KD.

Starter Reserve Deep Bench
PG Holiday Frazier
SG Pondexter Hield (draft pick) Dejean-Jones
SF Durant Ennis
PF Davis Cunningham
C Asik Ajinca

Hey, it's a possible scenario!

Sign Nicolas Batum and get additional roster help

This one is my favorite. The Pelicans become a much deeper team and sign players who can play multiple positions. A guy like Batum does everything Gentry is looking for, not to mention the organization would have available salary to go out and probably sign another wing in the process. The team would have between $7-11 million available to go out and get another player, say Allen Crabbe or Terrence Jones.

Starter Reserve Deep Bench
PG Holiday Frazier
SG Pondexter Hield (draft pick) Dejean-Jones
SF Batum Ennis Cunningham
PF Davis Jones Cunningham
C Asik Ajinca

This roster would be able to do a lot of switching when going small. Imagine how well a finishing 5 of Jrue, Pondexter, Batum, Davis, and Terrence Jones could look on both ends of the floor -- all are a threat from the perimeter and can almost switch everything defensively.

So, as you see by just removing Evans from the equation, the Pelicans would open a lot of doors. This can all be accomplished without touching any other contracts or attaching the 2017 pick (besides the Butler deal). Moving Asik or Ajinca, New Orleans could really go crazy with possible scenarios... but maybe we'll save that for another time.