Tyreke Evans (concussion) won’t play tonight for the Sacramento Kings, but his team’s meeting with the Boston Celtics is still a reason to look back on what could have been.
Before this season, there were trade rumors surrounding the Celtics moving a package headlined by Ray Allen or Rajon Rondo for a top-five pick and the right to draft Tyreke. Evans, who at the time had just completed an up-and-down season for the Memphis Tigers, was a Danny Ainge favorite. Ainge had apparently already seen the qualities Evans has since revealed during a rookie campaign that has taken the NBA by storm, establishing Evans as a future star.
NESN’s Evans Clinchy looked at the trade that never was, concluding that sometimes the best trades are the ones that were never made. To Clinchy, both the Celtics and Kings benefited from failing to pull the trigger on the trade: The Celtics have a better chance to win now, and the Kings have a superstar for the future.
But is it that simple?
I think bringing Evans in would have disrupted the present, and given the Celtics less of a chance to win now. In the future, though, Evans would have been one hell of a piece to build around.
In the end, it all comes down to whether the Celtics win a championship. If they do, it’s obviously worth keeping the core and sacrificing the future. But if they don’t win another championship with the current nucleus, a backcourt of Rajon Rondo and Tyreke Evans would have been a damn good place to start the rebuilding process. That is, if the two players who both like the ball in their hands didn’t spontaneously self-combust.
I like the Celtics right now. I really do. But the thought of Tyreke Evans playing in Celtics Green — as impossible as it is now — is still intriguing, especially as he chugs along to a 20-5-5 Rookie of the Year season.