It wasn’t that long ago Tyreke Evans was considered the Kings’ franchise player. He was their No. 1 option, their superstar, their future.
That was 2009 when Evans was drafted with the No. 4 overall pick.
Fast forward to 2013. Evans is the subject of trade rumors. He hears them every day.
“I really try to focus on basketball every day,” said Evans, who hails from nearby Chester. “But you can’t help but notice the rumors. You hear talk all the time. It is strange because you don’t know what to expect. All I try to do is play as hard as I can every night for the Kings as long as I’m here.”
Evans was recently in town to play against the Sixers and he didn’t disappoint the 25-30 friends and family in attendance with a 29-point performance. But he has had trouble staying healthy to produce these types of efforts on a consistent basis.
Evans missed 16 games earlier this season with an injured left knee. Over the past four years, he has dealt with a litany of injuries, causing him to be out for numerous games.
“I realize I need to stay healthy and on the court and I feel great now,” said Evans, the 2009-10 NBA Rookie of the Year. “I’ve been training very hard and working on my nutrition and everything. I’m feeling great and I think bright days are ahead.”
Those days could be in Sacramento, or — if reports are true — in Seattle if the franchise is relocated there. Or somewhere else as the trade deadline inches closer.
“I want to be here with the Kings,” Evans said. “I hope I’m here. You never know. There are things I can’t control. If it happens, it happens. What can you do? This is where I want to be. We’ll see.”
» Named 2008-09 Conference USA Freshman of the Year at Memphis.
» Chosen 2008 Pennsylvania High School Player of the Year by The Associated Press.
» Selected first-team All-America by Parade Magazine after averaging 32.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists for American Christian School (2007-08).
» Earned MVP honors at 2008 McDonald’s All-America Game in Milwaukee. Evans scored 21 points.