Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 at 8:00 am  |  63 responses

Top 50: Tyreke Evans, no. 22

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.

by Rodger Bohn / @rodgerbohn

Say hello to the ‘09-10 Rookie of the Year who, in this writer’s eyes, should’ve been playing in Istanbul this summer.

To throw the numbers out there, we’re looking at a point guard who is 6-6, 220 pounds with nearly a 7-0 wingspan. He’s got the size and strength to both play and defend the 1, 2 and 3 if needed with no problem. While he doesn’t have the bounce, it could be argued that he is the LeBron JaTyreke Evansmes of point guards in terms of his physical stature.

Last year, Reke did most of his damage one on one. In fact, over a third of his buckets (33.6 percent) came off of isolation situations where he put in work. His high school team would always run a 1-4 flat to let him do his thing and the dribble drive system at Memphis catered his skill set as well. It could be said that he’s a bit ball dominant at times but when you have a player who can create his own shot like that, you don’t have a choice but to let him do that.

Showing much promise as both a pick and roll ball handler and a post up option, a case could be made that Evans is the most versatile point guard in the League. Almost 20 percent of his offense came off of the pick and roll and he made pretty good decisions with the rock in those situations. The Philly native’s combination of size and length allows him to finish amongst the trees despite his lack of bounce. In terms of the post game, Paul Westphal has done a killer job of getting him the rock on the blocks and letting him do his thing against smaller 1s in the West.

The main problems with Reke are largely due to his lack of a consistent jumper and his tendency to be turnover prone at times. For anyone who has watched Evans over the years, you have seen how much he has drastically improved the form on his shot. When he was in high school, he cocked the rock back behind his head a la Sam Perkins and could get away with it. Once he hit the next level, Cal and Lamont Peterson (his trainer) got his form much better. His J is still definitely a work in progress, but is making strides in the right direction.

The thing that personally sets the ex-Memphis stud apart from most other guards is his D, though. While he doesn’t have crazy lateral quickness or bounce like DRose or Mr. Rondo, he compensates with crazy long arms, size, and strength. Find me a point guard who can post on Reke and I’ve got you a Hot Sauce Williams polish boy if you’re in Cleveland.

With Carl Landry and DeMarcus Cousins down on the blocks, expect Mr. Evans’ assist numbers to increase. I mean, you’ve got a guy who can create on anyone who now has two solid big men. There’s a chance that he has more dimes than a parking meter. If not, he can just cross you up and speed to the rack to a monstrous season.

Player Team Position 2010 2009 2010 2009
Ray Allen Celtics SG 50 36 11 10
Gilbert Arenas Wizards SG 49 34 10 9
Lamar Odom Lakers PF 48 33 14 10
John Wall Wizards PG 47 NR 13 NR
OJ Mayo Grizzlies SG 46 46 9 12
Al Horford Hawks C 45 NR 6 NR
Jason Kidd Mavs PG 44 45 12 10
Joakim Noah Bulls C 43 NR 5 NR
LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 42 39 13 12
David West Hornets PF 41 31 12 8
Monta Ellis Warriors SG 40 NR 8 NR
Andrew Bogut Bucks C 39 NR 4 NR
Yao Ming Rockets C 38 NR 3 NR
Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 37 NR 11 NR
Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 36 NR 11 NR
Stephen Curry Warriors PG 35 NR 10 NR
David Lee Warriors PF 34 NR 10 NR
Brook Lopez Nets C 33 NR 2 NR
Gerald Wallace Bobcats SF 32 NR 6 NR
Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 31 29 7 8
Tony Parker Spurs PG 30 15 9 3
Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 29 13 9 3
Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 28 44 5 9
Josh Smith Hawks PF 27 40 8 13
Andre Iguodala 76ers SG 26 26 6 7
Al Jefferson Jazz PF 25 23 7 7
Russell Westbrook Thunder PG 24 NR 8 NR
Chauncey Billups Nuggets PG 23 19 7 5
Tyreke Evans Kings PG 22 NR 6 NR

• Rankings are based solely on projected ’10-11 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jeremy Bauman, Maurice Bobb, Erildas Budraitis, Sean Ceglinsky, Ben Collins, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Manny Maduakolam, Eddie Maisonet, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Charles Peach, Branden Peters, Quinn Peterson, David Schnur, Todd Spehr, Kyle Stack, Adam Sweeney, Dennis Tarwood, Tracy Weissenberg, Lang Whitaker, Eric Woodyard, and Nima Zarrabi.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • blk_majic

    dam straight, sacto’s balling this season and its only goona get better

  • http://si.com/nba don

    looking forward to the SAC team this year. OMRI!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    This list is obviously racist. There are only a few white guys and just one Asian dude.

  • kb24mj23

    Tyreke will never be able to be the point on a championship squad unless he actually does become less ball-dominant. There’s no room for him to do his thing like he did last season and still have another top-notch scorer demanding the ball.

  • KING

    @hursty it ain’t a racist list…white ppl just can’t ball

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty


  • Ronald

    @Hursty: ROFL. I think you need to use the sarcasm denoter. /s

  • C-Mac

    wait… so Paul Pierce is either in the top 21, or not on the list at all…?

  • C-Mac

    because I don’t think either are right…

  • Overtime

    Wayyyy too high. Way way too high. His numbers are entirely inflated due to the fact the Kings just gave him the ball and let him actually generate some interest in the team.
    (sidenote: I hate when teams do that, really can dent a players development in terms of being in a structured offense, passing the ball, low turnovers etc)
    He is obviously a talented player, but this is far too high for him.

  • twinparadox

    If Hursty is taking a shot at Bron with that comment then I’m LMAO
    If he really meant it…then WTF?

  • EJ

    If I won’t make the list, I’ll play the race card. It’s not my fault that I suck, you’re just racist.

  • JTaylor21

    How is Reke way too high this is the perfect spot for him. With the LEGENDARY numbers he put up last year there’s no reason to believe that he won’t put up even better numbers with a full off-season of NBA-type training. Remember that BigO/Oscar/Bron never had any kind of sophomore slump and even had way better all-around numbers their second year. I expect 24/5/6 from him this year.

  • KennyD

    This is not way to High honestly if it was me he would be at 20 but 22 is great for him.

  • http://www.simonlawy.vemma.com Simon Lawy

    good player

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    So Reke and Billups are 22 and 23..WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?! Reke´s nice and Billups 20 places too high.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    I like Tyreke, but this is a bit too high for him, imho. As nice as his rookie year was, it seemed like he was ball-hogging too much at times. Especially late in the season, I got the feeling he was focusing too much on chasing that milestone average and the ROY, and not enough on team ball. But then again, it IS Sacto…who else was gonna score on that team?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Come on guys of COURSE Hursty was being sarcastic jeeez. I feel your pain hurst, sigh indeed. As for Reke. This is too high for a dude who’s about to start his second year.

  • Overtime

    @JTaylor, theres no arguing his numbers but my point is how much I take from those numbers

  • Dar

    I say swap Westbrook with Evans and we all gravy…

  • http://freshnproper.com Q

    Tyreke is an absolute dog. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him Top 15 by the end of the year.

  • http://slamonline.com walt williams

    Tyreke is a phenomenal talent! He put up 20ppg as a rookie with absolutely no jumpshot and defenders giving him loads of room on the perimeter. You can teach a player to shoot. Most of the greatest players ever couldn’t shoot coming in to the L. You can’t teach basketball players to do what Tyreke does. He is a bull in a china shop in traffic and finishes better then anyone not named Lebron at the rim with that 7ft wingspan and EXTREME craftiness.
    On top of his otherworldly offensive ability, he was a lockdown defender as a rookie and crashes the boards as well as any guard in the league. The ceiling is so high for Reke and I think the sky is the limit for the young fella, especially with legit big men to play with. The Kings trotted out freaking Sean May to start the season last year and it was not due to injury. The Kings now boast one of the deepest frontcourts in the league and this is going to help Tyreke quite a bit.
    He will be a top ten talent by seasons end when the Kings are contending for a low playoff seed.

  • http://slamonline.com walt williams

    This is also the last Top 50 list anyone will ever see without Demarcus Cousins’ name on it. Thanks again, David Kahn!!

  • Seven Duece

    No. Sorry, but no. Any player this high should be a difference maker in some regard. He didn’t help win many games with all that ISO play nor put fans in seats. Mitch Richmond 2.0 in reverse; all drive, no jumper.

  • Luiyo

    He’s NOT a point guard! They are trying to make him a point guard… Just like LeBron when he came to the league they labeled him as a PG but Paul Silas moved him to SF, Tyreke is a natural SG, the problem is, he needs the ball to be productive, playing with the Kings with the lack of talent they have at PG, makes using him in that position viable

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    I was wondering when we would see Tyreke. I knew he had to be on this list but expected him to come in at the 30′s. With Tyreke, you have a guy who just tires people out. Strength, speed, length…just like Bohn wrote. Give the writer credit, he mentions SEVERAL times that Tyreke has no bounce, also truth. I am surprised he manages to dunk some times but he can finish in traffic with the best already, so…

    ^Top Ten Talent? By seasons end? I doubt that. It is yet to be seen if the young talent the kings have will mesh and play decent ball and that includes Tyreke. I think the West is still a tough conference to make the playoffs in if you aren’t a legit 50 win team. So, until I see what the Kings look like on the court I am going to appreciate them and Tyreke for what they are: potentially much more interesting to watch for a Kings fan than teams of the last 4-6 years, mainly because of Tyreke Evans, who may or may not be the 22nd best player in the NBA but he has loads of talent and potential and very well could be deserving of this spot at seasons end.

    Anyways, should be a good season for fans…of course with the arena deals in Sac all falling through it may be more tragic if the Kings play up to their potential. Their seemingly imminent departure would be that much harder to handle if we get the Seattle treatment.

  • slimshady

    tyreke and steph curry should switch places.. rekes overrated WATCH OUT FOR GOLDEN STATE THIS SEASON

  • http://www.twitter.com/HurstySYD Hursty

    Yeah, it was sarcasm.
    Thanks Moose.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Reke is a great player, a real bright spot for the Kings. Sac-town is looking great right now, best young team in the league for sure. Nice write-up, Roger!

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Also, HOW THE FRICK does John Wall crack the Top 50 ahead of Ray freaking Allen (who will be the best offensive player the CONTENDING Celtics have) and Gilbert Arenas, when he hasn’t played a single game? And AARON BROOKS doesn’t even make the list?!

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    ^ Teddy – about Wall, the keyword is “projected”. Slam thinks Wall would have a greater impact to his team than Rayray to his team. I kinda agree with that since Ray will be 3rd on his team in terms of overall impact despite being their top offensive player, to Wall who’s gonna be the main cog on the Wiz’ (yes it’s his team now not Gilbert’s) .. About Brooks i don’t know what Slam is drinking..

  • kris

    2 things ive read up there that are far off…

    Reke a Ball hog? Tyreke and rose both averaged 20 ppg and 6 apg last year, Rose took 1.5 more shots a game. Both had assist rates of 21%, rose had a usage rate 1% higher….. Almost identical numbers, with Rose taking more shots. So tell me why Tyreke is a ball hog/ stat stuffer, and Rose is an elite PG? (Tyreke also averaged over 7 apg and took less shots after Landry another guy who could actually score, showed up.)

    Reke not a difference maker (didnt help his team win games)? So 2 game winners, a game winning steal, 9 points in last 2 minutes of the 35 pt comeback, 12pts in last 5 minutes in msg to comeback from 15 down, killed Utah 2 games while shutting down D-Will and there is much more…. fact is with out him the Kings win at least 9 less games that i can remember off the top of my head.

  • jarrett

    probably 1 of the most underrated players in the L. How can a guy average broy career numbers his rookie year and everyone points out inflation because of his team? I just look at it like this; if Reke was the “the next big thing” player since his freshman yr in high school, then his numbers are just the natural effect of his game taking course.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    I love watching Evans, but I dont think he (or Arenas) is really suited to play the 2 this upcoming season… We’ll see here in a week or two..

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Darren Collison > Stephen Curry

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Darren Collison MAYBE even > Brandon Jennings… Donno.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Okay maybe not for either, but he’s going to be great.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    He is great, but its at the team expense. We give players too much credit fast. The team sucked and he ball hogged alot. I would watch games, where he said I am going to get my numbers and the team would lose all the time. Its just the truth. He played in alot of blow out games too. He is a talent, but I feel there’s something missing with his game. He can score all right, can pass a little bit and can rebound well for size. I just wished he concentrated more on getting his team involved and not his numbers. When I watched his game it just felt like he was trying to win Rookie of the Year honors and that is it. Thats my viewpoint, but with team success will come more coverage, because wins are what matter most, not getting so called LeBron numbers on a bad team. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    Doesn’t every team let their star hog the ball? It is kinda the point right? They are the focus and the rest of the team is complimentary.

  • Marcos

    Racist? White people can’t ball? Yeah, nice. And black people can’t do math, right? And Asian people got a small dick (oh, wait!).

    Ball don’t lie, guys. Larry Legend was an All-Timer, as white as it gets. McHale had the best low-post game ever. Only one Asian player? Yeah, chinese players suck. Or do you wanna make a point about Yi and Yue being Top 50? C’mon. Starbury is MVP in China, how much Bball IQ is required to play there?
    Obama, a black smart man is leading your fat, white, lazy and unemployed nation. Our president (Brazil) hasn’t even gone to College, and can barely read (and his party is going to win again @elections today); we just discovered Oil in our land, so Uncle Sam will come kicking our asses Iraqi Style pretty soon. It sucks all around. Stop with the stupid race discussions and focus on the game. It’s still somewhat pure. You can ball, or you can’t ball.

    The list doesn’t have many white guys because we don’t have many white good guys right now. Magic was the best, Stock was arguably the second. Completely different players, same position.

  • kris

    @ The Seed, Reke a Ball hog? Tyreke and rose both averaged 20 ppg and 6 apg last year, Rose took 1.5 more shots a game. Both had assist rates of 21%, rose had a usage rate 1% higher….. Almost identical numbers, with Rose taking more shots. So tell me why Tyreke is a ball hog/ stat stuffer, and Rose is an elite PG? (Tyreke also averaged over 7 apg and took less shots after Landry another guy who could actually score, showed up.)Can you read its just a few posts up. Its also obvious you didnt watch many Kings games, Tyreke didnt hog the ball at all, he actually would have had way more APG if anyone on his team could finish not names Landry. he took 16 of his teams 85 shots, one of the lowest % of a teams shots for such teams leading scorer. Also in alot of blow outs? the Kings lost 25 games by 8 pts or less, they were in most games they played in just couldnt finish. You must be a Curry or Jennings fan right?

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Did you watch their games, yes they might have lost 25 games by 8pts less, but that is deceiving when games are over and the Kings are playing hard, (Tyreke putting up numbers then). They did get blown out alot and played alot against the team B TEAMs. They stayed in games, but seriously, I watch Tyreke play games, and it was like he was trying to get numbers to be Rookie of Year. This is just my viewpoint, but if you feel he is not a ball hog to the detriment of the team, that’s your opinion, but to me with the win/loss record of his team, he shouldn’t have been given the ROY award anyway. I bet Curry, Jennings or others could have put up better scoring numbers, more assists, less rebounds on a scrub team like that. BOOK IT!!!

  • kris

    @ Seed Haha Curry was on a scrub team who was BLOWN out more. Plus if Jennings team mates were as bad as Evans and he was defended and game planed against like Evans was he may have shot 27% not 37%. Evans was by far and away the best rookie last season and deserved ROY. No other rookie had to deal with the defenders Evans had every night. Artest and Kobe switched on him, Battier, G Wallace, LeBron, Thabo, ect ect the list goes on and on he delt with the best peremiter defenders hounding him all game and more doubles than ANY other rookie. Yet he still had the best numbers and was the most clutch, with out him the Kings win 15 games maybe less… by the way Curry and Jennings had pg’s guarding them every game no where near the defenders Tyreke drew….

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Good point, J.

  • Avery

    go ‘reke! you’re gonna be in the top 3 in the next 2 or 3 years!!

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    I think Curry is better NOW. In two years while Tyreke can work on his midrange, 3pter, and his left hand it won’t be close. Curry just has a more complete game right now. Tyreke put up big numbers but it was forced, and if you weren’t watching both of them closely you would see Steph got his without forcing it.

  • ParotlessPirate

    Ha! Curry looks like a little, skinny girl out on the floor. He’s too small, too weak to defend consistently at the NBA level one on one. I’ll give him credit, he is a fantastic shooter but he does not have the potential to be a Tyreke. For anyone who thinks Curry is better then Tyreke just look up the Pre-draft Kings workout videos on youtube. Curry got DOMINATED by Tyreke just about every possession.

  • T-Money

    If Reke is a 1, what does that make Beno??

  • brian


  • kris

    @ T-Money, Beno is the SG, he is 6-3+, and a way better shooter. Fact is Beno was bad till he was playing the off guard last season and didnt have to be the main ball handler and distributor. He was by far better off the ball spotting up for shots and running an occasional PnR.

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  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Tyreke Evans is Sacramento’s shooting guard. he guards them, plays off the ball until each set starts (unless its a broken set/ fast break situation). Beno Udrih is their starting PG.

  • kris

    @ NBK, please watch a Kings game b4 you try and comment on them, Tyreke actually guards the PG or SG depending on who their best player is, that has nothing to do with his position but being their best perimeter defender, and Beno being a weak defender, for example against Den and Utah he guarded Billups and D-Will, against Miami and LA he guarded Wade and Kobe. He doesnt play off the ball either, he gets it directly after a defensive rebound or made basket from out of bounds. Sets the offense and runs the plays, only when a play breaks down he goes into an iso and dominates. Beno plays off the ball 90% of the time when he is paired with Reke.

  • Heef

    This is not too high, this is too LOW

    tyreke is already in the top ten, higher even but i’ll leave it at that, you can see it in his eyes, he drives to the basket like no one in the nba, not lebron, not even d-wade (not saying overall he’s better than them yet)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Tyreke Evans is the starting SG for Sacramento. He is listed there, thats what the coaches consider him, thats the position he generally guards. Dribbling the ball, or being ball dominate does not mean your the PG. If that was the case, LeBron would be a point guard, the Lakers wouldn’t even have one, Brandon Roy would be a PG, the list continues. and BTW i watched a minimum of 15 kings games last year, from beginning to end.

  • ab40

    yeah they just got their a$$ busted by the clips in a preseason game

  • kris

    @ ab40, yeah once Tyreke left they did, he was killing Eric Gordon who is a very good defender. With Beno and Tyreke playing 9 minutes combined they had no play makers or ball handlers in the game and mostly played the guys trying to make the team. Clips mainly played their starters…

    @ NBK if you ask Westphal his answer would be Tyreke is the PG, sorry i watched 50+ games last year hes there PG. He guarded lots of PG’s, he guarded the other teams best Guard, that doesnt mean hes not a PG because he guarded Kobe and Wade and Roy, that means he s a great defender and very versatile.

  • Bob

    Got this one about right. I suspect by the end of the season he will be higher still. There were some nice players who came into the league last year. But Reke isn’t a nice player, he’s a beast. You just don’t see players with his combination of physical dominance and ballhandling skill come into the league very often. And when you do, they are major stars. Also one of the most misunderstood young players I have seen. He plays PG, started at PG next to Martin, next to Greene, next to Casspi, next to Garcia…what? Did the Kings have no PG in those games? But because he’s 6’6″ he must be an SG. Even though he plays best with the ball in his hands, brings the ball up, sets up the offense. Guess Penny was a SG too. And Magic? A SF. Meanwhile his team wins 50% more games than the year before, while being maybe the youngest team in the league, with their leading scorer out or ineffective for the first half of the season. But then somehow the kid is a stat padder for putting up better numbers than LeBron did in his rookie season, while winning 8 more games than they had the year before. Its stupid. After this season its probably going to look really stupid.

  • jawjack

    Reke has produced a superior season stat wise despite all the short comings that have been cited above. Frankly, when you consider just his stats, he should have been an All Star as well. This type of talent is beyond PG/SG labels. Historically he seems most comprable to Oscar Robinson, also considered a LB with the PG label.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    Good to see he isn’t officially a PG. That would be bullying.

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  • Avery

    the next year in the top 15
    in two years in the top 10
    in three years in the top 3

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