The Kings will not match the four-year, $44 million offer sheet that Tyreke Evans has agreed to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans. According to sources close to the situation, the new Kings management group instead is hoping to close Thursday on a sign-and-trade agreement involving Pelicans point guard Greivis Vasquez and backup center Robin Lopez.
No deals can be finalized until July 10.
Because Evans, the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year, is a restricted free agent, the Kings have the right to match any offer he receives in the open market. However, team officials reportedly believe the offer is excessive and would damage the team's long-term salary cap flexibility. They pulled their four-year, $52 million offer to free agent Andre Iguodala Tuesday when the Denver Nuggets swingman refused to make a firm commitment.
Evans' future with the Kings became less certain when the club selected Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore last Thursday in the NBA Draft. Evans, who was shifted from point guard to small forward, and most recently, shooting guard, averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season.