After playing out last season with the Sacramento Kings, Tyreke Evans signed a one-year, $3.3 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Evans was traded to the Kings last year from New Orleans in the deal for DeMarcus Cousins during the All-Star break.
Evans averaged 10.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists throughout 40 games last season. He struggled with health and consistency but was a reliable secondary ball-handler in Sacramento and New Orleans.
Many thought Evans would opt to play for a contender, but he took a slightly more lucrative offer from the Grizzlies, who will likely fit Evans in with their biannual exception. Memphis is in a transition with many key players off the roster, including Tony Allen and Zach Randolph. This also makes it more difficult for the Grizzlies to retain JaMychal Green, who is a restricted free agent, because using the biannual exception would hard cap them.
Evans doesn’t replace any of what Green does on the floor, but he does give the Grizzlies another ball-handler to employ at a low cost. With Ben McLemore’s deal in place at $11 million over the next two years and a new deal with Evans, the Grizzlies are pushing up against the salary cap.
On July 4, Green’s agent said he was looking at offer sheets and sign-and-trade options, indicating that the Grizzlies weren’t too interested in bringing Green back to Memphis.
Wow. Meanwhile, an interesting twist in Memphis w/ JaMychal Green. https://t.co/ZYdCg4ajsY— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 4, 2017
Whether he returns depends on how lucrative any offer sheet he signs is. If it’s too much, Memphis probably won’t push the luxury tax to retain him.
Either way, Evans is a solid fit in Memphis. He’ll be able to come in and immediately contribute as a ball-handler, which is something the Grizzlies lacked behind Mike Conley last season. If Chandler Parsons is healthy, having Evans play behind him could do wonders for Memphis’ depth on the wing.