Top 50: Tyreke Evans, no. 22

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.