Tyreke Evans is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, and according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the 22-year-old is working out this summer as if he has something to prove. Evans has only taken a single week off since the season ended, and is determined to show that he hasn't lost a step, writes Spears.
As Evans devotes the offseason to improving his game, the Kings must decide whether they'll make him a long-term contract offer. According to Sacramento GM Geoff Petrie, an extension for Evans isn't something the team necessarily has to get done this offseason.
"I don't think it's something on the front burner at this point," Petrie said. "Going forward salary cap-wise, we have a lot of flexibility. There are no real concerns about our ability to pay going forward because of our future numbers. The most important thing in the big picture is that Tyreke takes his game to another level. The reward for that is ultimately what's greater in a lot of respects."
A June report suggested Sacramento likely wouldn't offer Evans an extension, and while I wouldn't be surprised if the team made some sort of offer, I'm not expecting the two sides to work out a deal. Petrie's comments suggest that there's no need to rush into an agreement with Evans in the next few weeks, since the Kings could afford to match a max offer sheet next summer if the former fourth overall pick has a great season.
Although there's no guarantee that Sacramento would match a max offer sheet, Petrie is right that the Kings should have the flexibility to do so. Unlike the Thunder, who will be over the cap even before negotiating with James Harden, the Kings could end up more than $15MM below the cap next summer, meaning they wouldn't be anywhere close to the tax line even with a big new deal for Evans.
Michael Pina of Hoops Rumors examined Evans' extension candidacy earlier this month.