by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

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

In the Tyreke Evans‘ sweepstakes, the Sacramento Kings are still in the game.   Multiple sources with knowledge of Evans’ thinking are refuting a report that the fourth-year swingman wants out of the capital city.  However, if the Kings don’t make a move today, Evans will commit to the Pelicans.

“If there is no action by the Kings today, we will (agree to the Pelicans offer),” a source close to Evans told Cowbell Kingdom.

After meeting with Evans on Monday in Los Angeles, the 23-year-old came away impressed by the presentation from new owner Vivek Ranadivé, general manager Pete D’Alessandro and coach Michael Malone.  However, the Kings have yet to make a financial pledge to the former rookie of the year.  That lack of commitment has frustrated Evans and his camp, putting him in a position to seriously consider the Pelicans’ offer.

Evans has a four-year deal worth an estimated $44-million plus incentives waiting for him from the Pelicans.  New Orleans was the first team to meet with Evans when the free agency period began late Sunday evening.

According to one person with knowledge of the talks between Evans and Sacramento, the Kings were caught off guard by the value the market has set for the 23-year-old.  The source added that the Kings value Evans as a $8-9 million-a-year player, far below the $11 million a season that Pelicans are willing to commit.

Evans can’t formally sign with the Pelicans or any other team until July 10, when the NBA’s moratorium period officially ends.  Since he’s a restricted free agent, the Kings would then have three days to match any offer that he agrees to sign.

In addition to meeting with the Pelicans and Kings, Evans has drawn interest from the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks.  However, no formal offers have been extended to the 23-year-old swingman by those clubs.

The Kings yesterday would’ve likely pulled themselves out of the running for Evans if they received a firm commitment from Andre Iguodala.  Sacramento was the frontrunner to land Iguodala’s services after extending him a four-year, $50-plus million deal.  They pulled their offer from the table when the 29-year-old swingman wanted more time to make a decision.

Tyreke Evans’ older brother Doc Evans refutes claims that Tyreke wants out of Sacramento


Updated at 6:20 pm PT.