As I checked ESPN.com for the fifth time today, the homepage picture immediately caught my attention. It was a picture of Kings superstar Tyreke Evans with the caption, “Trade Debates: Who Stays, who goes?” I immediately click on the article hoping that somewhere and somehow the basketball Gods heard my prayers for a winning Kings team are thus trading our leading man for a better leading man. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tyreke, but the Kings need a change. Drafted fourth overall in the 2009 NBA draft, Tyreke was what the Kings needed to get Sacramento fans excited about the Kings again. Tyreke had a huge rookie season averaging 20.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and 5.8 assists per game. Oh and did I mention he was named Rookie of the Year? While Tyreke continues to be the leader for the Kings, his numbers have slowly declined since his rookie season. In every season since he was drafted, Tyreke’s stats have declined in every category. So what does this mean for the Kings and the future of the team? Tyreke, a well-liked and respected player among Kings fans, has done all he can for the Kings and now it’s time to move on. The good news for the Kings is that it’s not too late. Tyreke is still a young player putting up decent numbers. So far this season he is averaging 15.1 points per game, 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Based on his numbers and potential, the Kings should be able to acquire a decent player in exchange for Tyreke. While I would be sad to see Tyreke go, the endless possibilities of what the Kings could be with a new dynamic is setting in and giving me much needed hope.
So what are the experts saying? ESPN polled five NBA writers and three of the five “strongly agreed” that the Kings should trade Tyreke. The three writers in favor of trading Tyreke believe he peaked in his rookie season and deserves an opportunity to reconstruct his career with a new team. Those who disagree with trading Tyreke argue that we haven’t seen his full potential and that we are giving him up too early without knowing his trade potential. The Kings are notorious for letting go of players too early (Kevin Martin, Jason Williams, Mike Bibby, the list goes on), but in my opinion I think it is in the Kings best interest to part ways with Tyreke.
Only time will tell what will happen with Tyreke, but here’s to hoping for positive changes.