by James Ham & Jonathan Santiago

Tyreke Evans against the Hornets. (Photo: Steven Chea)

The NBA free agency period is officially underway.  And while most eyes will be on Dwight Howard, those in Sacramento will be paying close attention to Tyreke Evans.

As first reported by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, Cowbell Kingdom has learned that the fourth-year Kings guard is meeting with the New Orleans Pelicans about signing a deal.  Evans is in meeting with the Pelicans in Los Angeles, where his agent Arn Tellem is based.  NBA.com’s David Aldridge added that the Pelicans are prepared to extend an offer sheet to the 23-year-old guard and in his words the deal may be “a big one”.

Just days ago, a source in the Evans camp informed Cowbell Kingdom that Evans would have possibly as many as 17 suitors as a free agent.  There is no word if Evans will be meeting with any other teams besides New Orleans this evening.

There are indications that Evans would like to re-sign with the Kings.  The Kings swingman has recently gotten a new home in Rocklin according to those close to him.  However, the Kings are guard heavy after selecting Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum in this year’s NBA draft.

Last week, Kings’ general manager Pete D’Alessandro extended a qualifying offer to Evans, making the former rookie of the year a restricted free agent.  The qualifying offer allows the Kings to match any deal that Evans signs with another team.