REPORT: Indiana Pacers expected to pursue Will Barton, Tyreke Evans
After parting ways with fan favorite Lance Stephenson, the Indiana Pacers are now focused on finding someone to fill in his spot on the team’s roster. According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, the Pacers are keeping a close eye on at least two soon-to-be-free-agent swingmen in Will Barton of the Denver Nuggets and Tyreke Evans of the Memphis Grizzlies.
ESPN Sources: With Indiana declining team option on Lance Stephenson, Tyreke Evans and Will Barton are expected to be two of its free-agent targets.
This report comes on the heels of the Pacers deciding not to pick up its team option worth $4.3 million on Lance Stephenson.
Barton is coming off a solid season for the Nuggets. He averaged a career-high 15.7 points per game in 2017-18 to go with 5.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 81 games for Denver, including 40 starts. Barton earned just $3.5 million last season, and is looking to hit pay dirt in the free agency market, one that he’s unlikely to find in Denver, which is prioritizing a huge deal for Nikola Jokic.
Tyreke Evans, on the other hand, may come with a friendlier price tag for the Pacers. The former fourth pick overall showed he’s still capable of putting up fantastic numbers when he posted averages of 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists last season for Memphis. He was one of the only three players that finished the 2017-18 campaign with at least 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists, while nailing 39.0 percent of his shots from the field. Having said all of that, Evans’ health issues continue to linger. He missed several games last season mainly due to rib, knee, and hip concerns.