REPORT: Golden State Warriors initially targeted Tyreke Evans with mid-level exception
The Golden State Warriors tilted the rest of the league on its axis on Monday night after agreeing to a one-year, $5.3 million deal with All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.
It was a move that was unexpected by all means as there had been no previous chatter that Cousins was even considering joining the Warriors at any point during the first few days of free agency. In fact, Anthony Slater of The Athletic is reporting that the team had initially been targeting former Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans for the mid-level exception that he turned down due to the lack of money.
Warriors’ initial target on the MLE was Tyreke Evans. They were turned down because of the lack of desired money (shots/minutes/etc). That’s what left it still open for the taking when DeMarcus Cousins called Bob Myers.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 3, 2018
Evans has drawn interest from several teams around the league that includes the Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Indiana Pacers. The 28-year-old is coming off one of his most productive campaigns averaging 19.4 points on 45.2 percent shooting from the field and 39.9 percent from distance along with 5.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds in 30.9 minutes per contest. He could have brought more stability to the backcourt for the Warriors while his overall play could have made him a key piece to the puzzle off the bench next to Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala.
Instead, Golden State has been able to land arguably the best center in the league to add to their already star-studded starting lineup. Granted, Cousins is coming off a torn Achilles tendon it puts the team in the position to field five All-Star level talents at once that no other team in the league can do. It has made them the overwhelming favorites to win their third straight NBA title.
The Warriors are now in the position to be an even more explosive offense that may be virtually unstoppable for opposing defenses next season and possibly further down the line. It is has brought an entirely new level of excitement to see what Golden State will do on a nightly basis.