Basketball cyborg Kelly Dwyer is ranking all of the positions in the NBA from 30 down to the best (a.k.a. – #1). He opted not to put Tyreke with the point guards and instead threw him in with the shooting guards:
7. Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings (last year: unranked)
Tyreke handles the ball a ton for the Kings, but he also lines up in the starting five alongside Beno Udrih. And unless you want to start calling the 5-11 Udrih a shooting guard, Evans gets the call as a ball-dominating off guard.
There’s a little bit more than just the analysis there so click the link. And in reading deeper into the rankings, there really isn’t a 6th best shooting guard do to an issue KD had of ordering the lists and moving Andre Iguodala to the small forward list. So really, Evans is the 6th best shooting guard in the NBA according to Dwyer.
Now when I looked at his 1-30 point guard rankings and didn’t see Tyreke there (also didn’t see Beno there and Ziller handled that perfectly), I had the same reaction that most Kings fans probably had: Why won’t anybody give this guy credit as a point guard? I get Dwyer’s reasoning too. He didn’t want to call Beno Udrih a 5’11″ shooting guard even though that’s what he was for the majority of the second half of the season. 82games.com’s distribution of Beno’s minutes by position support KD but I tend to think that they just look at the lineup on the floor as opposed to what happened in those lineups.
I still believe Tyreke is a point guard. I saw too much play-making from him and too much running of the offense. You can throw the Dwyane Wade and LeBron James comparison’s out there (just in the way they dominate the ball without being points, not in terms of ability) but I don’t really buy them. Whether it was good or stagnant, Tyreke ran this team. A lot of the time Beno was on the court with him, Beno played off the ball. He was more of a spot-up shooter unless things broke down and he had to run a quick pick-and-roll at the end of the shot clock. To me, Beno was a shooting guard last year.
Does that mean I think Tyreke will be a point guard his entire career? No. I think it will depend on whether or not the Kings can get a good shooting guard or a good point guard to put next to him for the next decade-plus. And that’s sort of the beauty of Tyreke (assuming he can continue to develop and take his talents and skills more into the flow of the offense as opposed to just dominating a one-on-one situation) and what he can bring to the Kings’ future. He gives you so much versatility.
I don’t want people to flame KD here and say he doesn’t know what he’s talking about with Tyreke. The point of this should be more about looking at where Tyreke stands in the league in terms of individual talent with just one season under his belt. One of the best basketball analysts you’ll ever read (Dwyer) puts Tyreke ahead of everybody on this list other than Manu Ginobili, Joe Johnson, Brandon Roy, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. That’s damn impressive company to be in.