Tyreke Evans is set to hit the open free agency market after a big season with the Memphis Grizzlies. It was a year that has helped put him back into serious consideration for a lucrative contract. After years of playing below his potential, Evans seemed to figure things out with the Grizzlies in 2017-18.
Looking ahead at free agency this offseason, there are quite a few teams that could use a player with Evans’ skill-set. He brings the ability to get to the rim, create for teammates, as well as an improved outside shot. Evans isn’t going to be the primary three-point shooter for any team, but he has proven himself to be a lethal scorer at times.
Bleacher Report has an idea of which team should make Evans their top priority in free agency this offseason. The Indiana Pacers are coming off of an impressive season after trading Paul George, and Evans is listed as “Plan A” for the Pacers this offseason by B/R.
“This bench needs more scoring than Domantas Sabonis and Cory Joseph can supply. Evans could immediately move into its focal role while possibly serving as its top scorer, shooter and, distributor.”
During the 2017-18 season with the Grizzlies, Evans averaged 19.4 points per game to go along with 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds. He shot 45.2 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 39.9 percent of his three-point attempts. Those numbers would certainly look good for the Pacers coming off the bench.
At 28-years-old, Evans would fit in with the nucleus that the Pacers have created. Kevin Pritchard has a lot of young talent on his roster and adding a 28-year-old veteran would be a nice move, both now and for the future. Evans would fit nicely coming off the bench behind Bojan Bogdanovic at the small forward position, although he could push Bogdanovic for the starting job as well.
One potential issue with signing Evans and having him come off the bench would be how he fits with Lance Stephenson. Both Stephenson and Evans thrive with the ball in their hands. That could lead to a bit of an issue, although there is also the chance that the two would fit well alongside each other.
It was apparent at times this season that the Pacers needed a go-to scorer on their bench. Stephenson, Cory Joseph, and Domantas Sabonis all had nice games, but none of them were consistently the “go-to guy” for the second unit. Evans would be able to slide into that role immediately, while still leaving plenty of room for those guys to play their game.
Indiana is only a piece or two away from serious contention in the Eastern Conference. They took LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Signing Evans may not make them title contenders, but it certainly would make them a more dangerous team on the offensive end of the court.