COMMENTARY | As the dust settles from the 2013 NBA draft, the season of trade speculation is officially upon us. The adherence to "the best player available" draft philosophy invariably results in an assortment of roster logjams. The Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans find themselves in just such a predicament. The Kings have a surplus of shooting guards, while the Pelicans have issues at the point. These two teams are in an ideal position to swap.
After a draft night trade with the Sixers that sent Nerlens Noel to Philly in return for point guard Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans may now have a malcontent on their hands. Greivis Vasquez, last year's starter, is coming off a breakout season where he averaged 14 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds per game.
While nobody is claiming that Vasquez is an all-star, guys who can average 9 assists in 34 minutes per game don't exactly grow on trees. In fact, Vasquez's 12.6 assists per 48 minutes ranked him third in the league last year, behind only Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul, and above Holiday, who was fourth at 10.3. Taking all this into account, you can hardly blame Vasquez if he balks at the notion that he should be happy as a backup.
Sacramento got lucky when Ben McLemore fell into their lap after being projected to go higher in many mocks. But after adding the silky smooth shooting guard to their roster, the Kings now have a crowded backcourt with McLemore, Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette and Marcus Thornton. Some thinning and pruning is imperative, and moving Evans may make the most sense. Slotting him at the three or the point is too much of a round peg in a square hole.
Returning to the Pelicans, they have their own issues at the two guard. Eric Gordon is perpetually injured and is mentioned in trade rumors on a daily basis. New Orleans may feel enticed by the idea of a fresh start at his position, and Evans and Holiday would make for an intriguing young tandem.
Vasquez would give the Kings a major upgrade at the point and allow them the flexibility to move Isaiah Thomas to a bench role, where he could be a great change-of-pace option. Most importantly, Vasquez offers the kind of leadership and intangibles that the Kings so desperately need, and which they passed on when they took McLemore instead of Trey Burke or CJ McCollum.
Finding the exact mix of assets that would entice both the Kings and the Pelicans to do a deal might be difficult, but a trade headlined by Tyreke Evans and Greivis Vasquez makes a lot of sense for both sides.
Doug Brockwell is a lifelong follower of NBA basketball who grew up cheering for the Denver Nuggets. After relocating to Northern California in 2008, he began to follow the Sacramento Kings, who remind him of the endearingly hapless Nuggets squads of the '90s that he endured as a kid.
- Sports & Recreation
- Greivis Vasquez
- Sacramento Kings
- The Kings
- Tyreke Evans