The NBA, three years after suspending him for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, finally reinstated veteran guard Tyreke Evans back in February. Now, the Warriors have given him a look, with the thought that maybe joining a team with a championship culture could jumpstart a comeback by the one-time star.
This week, according to a report from J.D. Shaw of HoopsRumors.com, Evans was given a free-agent workout by the Warriors. Golden State, in an effort to minimize the upcoming blow to its books that the luxury tax will cause, is hoping to continue its tradition of finding bargain free agents who can contribute. Evans, if he were to be signed, would be given only a veteran’s minimum deal and, under NBA rules, the Warriors would pay only part of that.
Evans also worked out for the Warriors in March. Bob Myers, the Warriors’ general manager, had been Evans’ agent before he went into the Golden State front office.
Evans played for four teams over 10 years after he was the No. 4 pick in the 2009 draft, selected one slot below James Harden and three slots ahead of Steph Curry. He averaged 15.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists over that span, though injuries to both knees limited his later career. His best season came as a rookie when Evans scored 20.1 points with 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists, helping him to the Rookie of the Year award.
Evans last played in the NBA for the Pacers in 2019, when he averaged 10.2 points, mostly off the bench, but shot only 38.9% from the field. He scored 16 points in two G-League games with Wisconsin this season.
‘Drug of Abuse’ Got Evans Banned
It was never clear what, exactly, prompted the suspension from the NBA for Evans. But the league’s drug policy, agreed to by the players association, states:
If a player tests positive for a drug of abuse, he will be dismissed and disqualified from the NBA. A player will also be dismissed and disqualified from the NBA if he is convicted of, or pleads guilty to, the use, possession, or distribution of a drug of abuse.
Marijuana and performance-enhancing drugs are not among the list of “drugs of abuse,” according to league protocols. But cocaine, methamphetamine, drugs commonly known as “uppers” and opiates like heroin are among the list of drugs of abuse.
Testing positive for one of those leads to a lifetime ban. Players testing positive for performance-enhancing substances are suspended for 25 games on the first violation, 55 games for the second violation, and banned from the NBA for a minimum of two years on the third violation).
Warriors Have 7 Free Agents
As the team gets back to its offseason business following the celebration of this year’s championship, the focus turns to the back end of the roster, which is packed with free agents. Starting center Kevon Looney is among them, and stalwart Warriors guard Andre Iguodala is, too. The Warriors are expected to grant a contract extension to Jordan Poole, who has one year left on his rookie deal.
The team is likely to lose Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica to other teams, and there are questions about how much they will be willing to pay team favorites that the organization helped nurse into productive NBA careers: Gary Payton II is the priority, but Damion Lee and Juan Toscano-Anderson are also on the list.