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Tyreke Evans promises a big year. Coincidentally, it’s his contract year.

Sep 12, 2012, 2:18 AM EDT

Tyreke Evans All-Star

On your “guys who have to step up next season” list, Tyreke Evans should be near the top.

He was the rookie of the year three years ago, averaging 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game — only a handful of guys have ever done 20-5-5 as a rookie. But the next two seasons he has both battled injuries and he never developed a jumper, which allowed to teams to sit back and cut off his driving lanes. His game has never matured.

Next summer he will be a restricted free agent (there is little chance the Kings offer him an extension before the Halloween deadline). Basically, how he plays this season determines how he gets paid — and where he plays — next season.

And he knows it. He was up front with Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports about it.

“I’ve been receiving a lot of criticism about not being healthy and not playing like I did my rookie year,” Evans said. “I just want to come back this year and show people I’m still here and that I haven’t lost a step.”

Evans said he was working hard this summer, and Kings GM Geoff Petrie backed him up. Of course, find a player saying he’s worked hard this summer is about as hard as finding overpriced coffee. There’s one on every corner, it seems.

The question isn’t so much if Evans has lost a step and more has his game matured and has he found a jump shot. If so, he’s looking at a big payday next summer. If not, well, things will really be up in the air for the 2013-14 season.

  1. mendenhallfumblemachine - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    Wow the kings are such a mess. Have alot of talent too Evans, Cousins, Thornton and others shame they can’t put it all together on the court or with ownership.

  2. numba1recx19 - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    e0.1 points eh? Why don’t you sports talk writers ever proof read? Like c’mon.

    • freudnumb - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:19 AM

      e = 2.718.

  3. jordanismyidol - Sep 12, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Its obviously 20.1 ppg

  4. fanz928 - Sep 12, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    New coach, new owner, new arena, new place then the kings will be fixed

  5. cmehustle - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    He’ll do a couple things and get a big contract with somebody else. Then he’ll disappear like he did the last two seasons. Talented guy but a head case who doesnt get it.

    • nbascreed - Sep 12, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      “Talented guy but a head case who doesnt [sic] get it.”

      That’s easy. I actually don’t think his problem is being a head case (never heard that). I really do think this is a guy who could’ve used more time in the minors…oh wait……..

      He was 19 when he came into the league and unlike Wade or Rose I hated his form in college. It was herky and lacked any fluidity. He should’ve been with a shot doctor from Day 1. We shouldn’t still be talking about his utter lack of jump shooting 4 years in. I’ve long had questions about the player development arm of most of the NBA franchises and reading this really just confirms those suspicions. There really is no reason someone hasn’t put a point plan in place with Tyreke to address these deficiencies long ago. I’d bet dollars to donuts that if he had been drafted by San Antonio he’d have shot 40% from 3 this year. As much as the player has to want it the organization has to provide the culture to get better. San Antonio probably has player development built into EVERYTHING they do from practice, to evaluations to shoot around to film to game prep to games. While most franchises consider it something player x does with coach y on day z.

      • cmehustle - Sep 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM

        Yea, blame the organization for the player not developing. You get drafted where you get drafted. My point is he needs to work on his jumper. Is he the first to ever enter the league with no J? Hell no. Is he talented even without a J? Hell yea. The point is work on what your not that good at. Regardless of where you get drafted to. He can then sign a max contract wherever he wants to go instead of being stuck in Sac town if he likes. But you got to put in the work. And that goes for anyone really in whatever job you choose to participate in. I wish we would stop blaming everyone else for our messed up situations in America. But whatever…..

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