Tyreke Evans has verbally agreed to sign the four-year, $44 million offer sheet extended by the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Sacramento Kings have decided they will not match such an offer. Now the two teams are working on a sign-and-trade deal, according to Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee. The Sacramento Kings will reportedly trade Evans to New Orleans in exchange for point guard Greivis Vasquez and big man Robin Lopez.
Without a trade, Sacramento would otherwise have a three-day window to match the offer sheet and retain Evans once he signs the offer sheet on July 10. However, it appears that things are moving quickly and the Kings would rather work out a trade during the moratorium and pick up some assets than lose Evans for nothing. As for why the Kings would hesitate to match the $44 million offer sheet for Evans, the No. 6 free agent on Tom Ziller's top available list, is anyone's guess.
Pelicans SG Eric Gordon "all in" with New Orleans
The restricted free agent process drove a wedge between shooting guard Eric Gordon and New Orleans over the past year, but in the wake of the Tyreke Evans news, Gordon now says he's "all in" with the franchise and would love to play with Jrue Holiday and Evans, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
"I'm all in with the Pelicans," said Gordon, who has been friends with Holiday and Evans since their AAU days. "It would be great if we can all play together. I would say we'd definitely have a chance to make the playoffs."
"I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent, but I do feel comfortable I am coming back," Gordon said. "I think there is a good to great chance I will be back."
Fitting Holiday, Gordon and Evans on the perimeter seems a bit difficult, but the upgraded talent suddenly makes the Pelicans a dangerous team. Rohan Cruyff of SB Nation's Pelicans blog has some thoughts on what acquiring Evans could mean to Gordon down the line:
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.
Al Jefferson Looking for $15 Million Per Year
The Bobcats are pursuing big man Al Jefferson in free agency, and Jefferson is reportedly searching for a deal worth at least $15 million annually, according to a report from Chris Broussard of ESPN. Jefferson may wait until Dwight Howard signs to get his own deal, because that could open up opportunities with a few more suitors sitting on big money and still looking for a post presence. Jefferson is the No. 15 player on Ziller's list of top free agents.
The Bucks haven't been able to lure any free agents so far this summer, but negotiations on a multi-year deal with Mayo got serious on Wednesday and talks are expected to continue on Thursday, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Milwaukee is in an awkward space where they aren't quite prepared to tank for 2014, but they also aren't primed to add any valuable assets to get better in the short term. Bucks blog Brew Hoop has laid out the argument for why rebuilding makes sense at the moment.
Earl Clark Draws Interest from Clippers, Cavaliers
The Clippers have expressed interest in signing Earl Clark, but the Cavaliers are the team that Clark met with on Wednesday and there is reportedly strong mutual interest, according to The Sporting News.