Many questions surround Tyreke Evans. Is he a point guard, or a shooting guard? Is he both, or neither? Is he truly a bad outside shooter? Is he the next Derrick Rose, or did he just happen to play at the same college? Is he good enough now, or is he a project? Is he your answer, or does he bring you more questions? There is uncertainty with every potential NBA Draft pick, even a blatant top choice like Blake Griffin. The last thing a team wants to do is waste a high draft pick on a tweener. Evans is widely seen as an early pick, but he is in between positions. There is a significant difference between being a tweener and being versatile. A versatile player can excel at more than one position. A tweener might not excel at any. The 6-foot-5¼, 221-pound Evans is powerfully built, athletic and has a ridiculous wingspan of 6-foot-11¼ (the exact same as Griffin’s.) However, Evans is caught between being a 1 and a 2, much like Stephen Curry, Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague. Meanwhile, there is no doubt what Ricky Rubio is (1), or Hasheem Thabeet (5), or James Harden (2), or Jonny Flynn (1), or Brandon Jennings (1), or Jordan Hill (4). Does the Thunder want Evans? Does the Thunder need Evans? The Thunder definitely needs a shooting guard, but Evans shot a putrid 27.4 percent from 3-point range as a freshman at Memphis. He averaged 3.9 assists last season, but also 3.6 turnovers. With the draft 12 days away, uncertainty continues to spread as to who will be picked second behind Griffin. Initially, it was thought to be Rubio or Thabeet. DraftExpress now lists Harden as the No. 2 pick, followed by Thabeet and Rubio. The 19-year-old Evans also has been mentioned at No. 2. He would remain in Memphis and potentially could help the Grizzlies at the gate. Some general managers believe in Evans, but many others are skeptical, citing his youth and the temptation for opposing teams to sag on Evans when he plays the point. Evans has a fan in President Barack Obama, who told the Sacramento Kings owners, the Maloof brothers, they should take Evans with the No. 4 overall pick. Evans replaced Rose, the NBA’s rookie of the year and No. 1 pick last season, who also was one-and-done at Memphis. Former Tigers coach John Calipari leaned heavily on Evans, who responded well, averaging 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 29.0 minutes. There’s a world of difference between playing the point in Conference USA and handling it in the NBA. Jennings said he didn’t believe Evans or Holiday would make good NBA point guards. "To be a point guard, it has to be in you,” Jennings told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. "I don’t think you can suddenly be a point guard after one year. You are the leader, you are the quarterback, and that takes a lot of understanding. You have to make the right play, you have to run a team, you have to be a leader, you have to see things out there on the court. People might say, ‘He can be a point guard in the league.’ But that is a hard transition. You have to know how to do it. You have to be the one to take the heat when things don’t go right.” Evans potentially could be good in a pinch. He could handle the ball and penetrate as a point guard. Perhaps he could bury an outside jumper. He has the physical attributes to defend and impede passing lanes with his condor wingspan. There is value in all these things, but is there enough value? For Thunder general manager Sam Presti, the big question isn’t whether Evans plays position No. 1 or position No. 2, it’s whether the Thunder wants to risk picking him No. 3. Evans worked out earlier this week with Sacramento and was scheduled to have a session with Washington on Friday. He has yet to work out with the Thunder. John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.
On Page 4CWeek-long Thunder season ticket selection process ended Friday at the Coca Cola Events Center.
Coming SundayHow are the NBA trade winds blowing and how much would be too much to give up for Blake Griffin?