After what felt like ages of dangling Tyreke Evans on the trade market, hoping to pat down the highest bidder for all they had, the Memphis Grizzlies passed the February 8 National Basketball Association trade deadline without a deal.
More than likely, the Grizzlies are hoping that with a depressed market - Williams just re-signed for the Clippers for less than the full mid-level exception, and a team option on the third year - they can get Evans back for the mid-level (whether they can offer the full mid-level or tax-payer mid-level depends on other moves). The team really wants a first-round pick to part with Evans.
He's averaged 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists across 46 appearances, including 26 starts.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly the frontrunners to land Evans, with the Miami Heat staying engaged with the Grizzlies as well. If he leaves this offseason, the Grizzlies will have only hurt their draft pick with better play this season for zero assets in the future. General Manager Chris Wallace apparently decided that was not enough.
Potential benefits of keeping him around?
Ainge is a realist in that he knows a player like Evans won't propel them over-the-top in order to beat Golden State. Whatever is offered the Grizzlies have no financial advantage to keep him. Since the organization is extremely likely to hold a top-10 pick in the 2018 National Basketball Association draft anyway, the Grizzlies can build around Gasol and Mike Conley rather than just one of them.
The Grizzlies will now try to bring back Evans after the season, where he will be free to sign with any team.
Meanwhile, USA Today's Sam Amick has reported that a total of seven teams are actually in the mix for Evans' services. "The season hasn't gone that great, the way we wanted, but I've been happy in Memphis and with what I was able to do to help this team".
Asked how he felt, Evans laughingly said "rested". "I think that's the one move they can potentially make to move up in the East".
While this marks Evans' ninth National Basketball Association season, he only has four games of playoff experience.