The Celtics, Nuggets, and Sixers appear to be the current frontrunners to acquire Tyreke Evans from the Grizzlies, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, the Heat have also remained engaged on Evans.
Evans, 28, has been enjoying one of the best years of his NBA career in Memphis this season, averaging 19.5 PPG, 5.0 APG, and 5.0 RPG with a .458/.392/.799 shooting line so far. Based on his terrific production, the Grizzlies are said to be seeking a first-round pick in any deal and are currently holding Evans out of their lineup as they consider their options.
It makes sense that the Celtics, Nuggets, and Sixers would have a leg up on Miami in the pursuit of Evans, since the earliest first-rounder the Heat can trade is their 2023 pick. Denver still has all of its future first-round picks, while Boston and Philadelphia are owed at least one extra first-rounder in addition to holding all of their own. If the Heat want to make a play for Evans, their offer would likely have to include former lottery selection Justise Winslow.
While it remains to be seen what sort of package each team is willing to offer for Evans, Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link) hears that the Celtics’ reported hunt for a first-round pick in exchange for Marcus Smart is related to their interest in Evans and Lou Williams. Landing a first-rounder for Smart would allow the C’s to flip that pick – or their own first-rounder – to Memphis for Evans or to the Clippers for Williams, Stein notes.
For now though, the Celtics remain reluctant to include a first-round pick in an offer for a player on an expiring contract, preferring to save those selections for a “more seismic” deal, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe, who classifies Boston’s interest in Williams as “lukewarm.”