The Sacramento Kings definitely are a franchise in flux and, amid a myriad of rumors of a potential sale to a Seattle-based group, there are now rumblings that guard Tyreke Evans wouldn't be too broken up about it if the Kings traded him prior to the Feb. 21 deadline.
Evans has struggled to stay on the court due to persistent swelling and pain his his left knee, missing 16 of the last 20 games and playing for the first time three weeks on Monday night. According to Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee, Evans is "miffed that the organization failed to arrange for a second opinion on his sore left knee."
Here's what the fourth-year guard had to say when asked if his contract status has factored into his approach to rehabilitation:
"Definitely," he said, forcefully. "That's why I sat out so many games. I wasn't going to come back until I was ready, near 100 percent. You have to think about that. But the knee feels good now, it doesn't hurt. I just want to get back out there and start playing like I can."
The Kings did not sign Tyreke Evans to an early extension this season, but they will have the opportunity to match any offer he receives during the offseason, so long as they extend a one-year, $6.9 million qualifying offer to make Evans a restricted free agent this summer.
Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks -- a fellow member of the 2009 NBA Draft class -- is also playing out the final year of his rookie contract, so it's not as if the Kings are alone in the process of cautiously bringing along an inconsistent, yet supremely talented, guard.
His raw stats are down across the board, but Evans has made some strides as a scorer and has continued to draw fouls at a high rate. His True Shooting percentage in 2012-13 has bumped back up to 52.9 percent, thanks to a 65.3 percent conversion rate at the rim and an improvement in his otherwise subterranean three-point percentage.
Evans could be valuable to plenty of teams in the NBA as a creator in high pick-and-roll and off-the-dribble situations, but the real question is whether his knee will be healthy enough to support his aggressive style of play for a long stretch of games. There may not be enough time to truly know before the trade deadline, so the Kings would be risking a "sell low" situation if they made a knee-jerk move before Feb. 21.