by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham 

Tyreke Evans drives against the New Orleans Hornets (Photo: Steven Chea)

With free agency less than a day underway, Tyreke Evans has also received a lucrative offer from a potential suitor.  According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the New Orleans Pelicans have offered the fourth-year swingman a four-year contract worth an excess of $44-million plus incentives.

If Evans commits to the offer sheet, the Sacramento Kings may not match.  A source close to Evans believes that the Kings’ new management does not consider the former rookie of the year to be worth the $40-million or more that the Pelicans have offered.

Kings front office brass have a meeting scheduled with Evans and his camp later today in Los Angeles, where his agent Arn Tellem is based.  He also has plans to meet with the Detroit Pistons before the day is through.

How might Evans fit in with the Pelicans?  According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, the Pelicans envision using Evans in a Manu Ginobili-like role off their bench.  The Pelicans recently acquired all-star point guard Jrue Holiday in a draft day trade for the rights to Nerlens Noel.  They also still have Eric Gordon signed to a long-term deal worth an estimated $45.5 million.

A source close to Evans suggested that the Kings swingman would not sign with a team that sees him playing substantial minutes at small forward.  The Kings utilized Evans at the 3 position heavily during his third NBA season.

If he accepts New Orleans’ offer sheet, Evans would not be able to officially sign until after the league’s moratorium period ends on July 11.  Under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, the Kings would have three days to match any offer that Evans signs.  Before hitting the open market, Evans was extended a qualifying offer from the Kings, making the fourth-year guard a restricted free agent.

Word broke last night that Evans was meeting with Pelicans brass when free agency started at 9:01 PM PT.  At the time, NBA.com’s David Aldridge reported that New Orleans came to the meeting with the substantial multi-year offer sheet in hand.