NBA Free Agency 2018: 5 potential destinations for Tyreke Evans

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: Tyreke Evans
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 20: Tyreke Evans /
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Tyreke Evans may have earned himself a big contract with his stellar play in 2017-18. But could he take less to play for a contender?

Tyreke Evans finally looked like his rookie-self this past season. The 28-year-old guard averaged 19.4 points, 5.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds in 52 games. Signed by Memphis to be a scorer off the bench, Evans took over the starting role when Mike Conley was lost for the season after just 12 games.

It would be easy to look at Evans’ numbers and Memphis’ record and conclude that he’s a stat-stuffer on a bad team. In fairness to Evans, he missed 15 of the 19 games during Memphis’ losing streak. After December, he was operating under the assumption that he would be traded at the deadline. We all heard the talk that Danny Ainge would stop at nothing to acquire Evans and solidify Boston’s standing in the East.

Evans was not moved at the deadline, drawing groans from the Memphis faithful. By not trading him, the Grizzlies made it known that they would attempt re-sign him in the offseason. As an unrestricted free agent, that choice will remain up to Evans. He signed an extremely modest one-year $3.9 million deal with Memphis last offseason. Based on his performance this year, he’ll be up for a big raise should he want it.

Every team can use a guy who can score at all three levels. But a history of injuries and fear of last season being a fluke are a black cloud that could leave Evans facing some difficult decisions.