There are a lot of perks that come with being an NBA player. Money, fame and a boatload of other material pluses that make your life seem easy from the outside.
Unfortunately, there are also constant rumors and hearsay about players’ futures with their current clubs. Trade rumors, contract negotiations and free agency are all part of the game.
This morning we woke up to multiple reports that the Houston Rockets were offering Kyle Lowry along with the 14th and 16th pick in Thursday’s draft for Tyreke Evans and the fifth pick in the draft.
Sources inside the Kings say no way.
They say that Evans is part of the future and while the draft brings no certainties, the No. 5 pick is substantially safer than two mid-first round picks. Adding to this thought, the Kings are a very young team and bringing two more young pieces in the first round doesn’t seem in the cards.
Contacts inside Evans camp say that the word is mum. They have not been approached by the franchise about an impending deal. In fact, Evans has been holding private workouts with Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie while coach Keith Smart was out of town checking in on other players.
While talks of an extension have yet to materialize, those close to Evans are excited by the hands-on approach by Petrie, something that was not common practice in Evans’ first three seasons. The emphasis of the workouts have been on developing his mid-range game, including a floater, in an attempt to get Evans’ career path back on track.
The 64-year old Petrie was the 1971 co-Rookie of the Year along with Dave Cowens after being drafted eighth overall by the Portland Trail Blazers. Knee injuries limited Petrie to just six NBA seasons, but he retired with career averages of 21.8 points and 4.6 assists per game, including two All-Star selections.
According to those in Evans’ camp, he is looking to regain his place in the Kings’ backcourt and is weighing a trim 219 lbs. with 5-percent body fat. With the help of Petrie, Evans is looking to emulate the mid-range game of Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook. It’s not known if the Westbrook model is what the Kings or coach Smart are looking for, but the Kings have been waiting for Evans to take a huge leap in production after his stellar rookie season.