Sixers should target Tyreke Evans

The Sixers are in a tough spot. Assuming they don't re-sign Bynum, they will still only be about 14mm under the cap. They will hold a late lottery pick in a crappy draft. Rather than spending the summer attempting to create a 45-win team for next season, I would much prefer they look at the ages of their core players (Jrue is 22, Thad is 24, Turner is 24) and add another young talent. I honestly don't care if the Sixers win 25 or 30 or 35 or 40 or 45 games next season. Jrue is a good FIVE YEARS from entering his prime. The road map for a championship, without Bynum, has to be a five year plan. Minimum.

Acquiring a young player with significant upside is difficult. Any such available player will have flaws in his game. Looking at the landscape of free agency this summer, two players fit the description: Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans. Jennings is a point guard who shoots sub-40% from the field. Nuff said. Then there is Tyreke Evans. Here are the positives:

1) big, physical shooting guard who can rebound/pass

2) takes the ball to the basket (more than half his shot attempts this year are at the rim)

3) gets to the free throw line a good amount

The one glaring negative is his jumpshot. But what is interesting is that, similar to Evan Turner, he is showing some flashes of a consistent 3-pt jumper this season. He is shooting a career-best 35% from deep. And since, unlike Turner, he excels at getting to the basket and scoring/drawing fouls, his TS% this year is up to 54.9%, which is really good. Players generally improve their jumpshot over the course of their careers, and if you force him and Turner to shoot 1,000 3-pointers every day this summer, it could help alleviate some of the spacing issues that would normally exist with a SG/SF combo who both struggle to shoot from deep.

The Kings have a nasty salary cap situation. They will most likely re-sign Isaiah Thomas this summer. They are currently paying Marcus Thornton 8mm/year to come off the bench. It seems likely that if a team offers Evans a decent chunk of money, the Kings would let him walk.

So how much would I offer Evans? 4 years, 40mm. By the following summer, once Hawes/Kwame/Lavoy/Dorrell/Swaggy have all come off the books, the roster would essentially just be Jrue (11mm), Evans (10mm), Thad (9mm), and Turner (9mm), plus one more year of J-Rich at 6mm. Point is, the Sixers could have 4 young/promising players whose salaries would add up to less than 40mm/year. They could go after a max contract FA the following summer, or (more likely) use the cap space to absorb a nasty contract in order to acquire a top flight player (like they did with J-Rich/Bynum).

In closing.... no, Tyreke Evans is not a perfect solution, nor is he a franchise player. But rather than trying to get back into the playoffs next season by acquiring a veteran like Al Jefferson, I would rather they go after a young player who is years away from reaching his prime.

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