Over the next few weeks, we will be evaluating the 2010/11 seasons of all the players who ended the year on the Wizards' roster. We'll offer our quick thoughts, then ask you to grade their season on a 1-10 scale in the comments. For the purposes of this exercise, we'll start with the key players and work our way down. Next in line: Mo Evans
|2010 - Maurice Evans||73||21.2||2.4||5.8||41.7||0.8||2.3||32.9||0.7||0.8||89.7||0.7||1.4||2.1||0.6||0.5||0.5||0.2||1.8||6.3|
Key advanced stat: Despite Evans' reputation as a stabilizing on-court presence, the Wizards were outscored by 12.4 points per 100 possessions with him on the court in his brief tenure.
The Wizards solution to their "3 and D" problem arrived in the region two years too late and three years past his prime. An afterthought in the Kirk Hinrich for Mike Bibby/Jordan Crawford trade, Mo Evans was a player that few had thought about when the trade news came over the wire. Like Hilton Armstrong on the Wizards end, Evans was simply a name who made the trade work numbers wise. At first, Evans appeared to be a slower, less athletic version of Al Thornton, the player whose PT he would be taking. Evans was undoubtably slower than Thornton, but his shot was better and he played better team defense. The eeriest resemblance between the two players is that Evans appeared to share Thornton's predeliction for fouling three point shooters, which let to many hung heads amongst the Wizards faithful.
However, as Evans became acclimated to Washington, it became readily apparent that he was a player who fit Flip Saunders scheme better than than Thornton. For whatever reason, Saunders appears to have a greater grasp on deploying players of a conventional skillset, rather than weird hybrid players like Al Thornton or JaVale McGee. Evans was a steadying presence when inserted into the rotation, could flip between the role of starter and bench player and further served as a decent quote in the locker room (for what it's worth). His man defense, while not as good as Thornton's, was more consistent, and he acted as a second floor general, directing the frontcourt into position on defensive sets. Essentially, Evans was a cheaper Darius Songalia, which is something that every team needs.
It is here that a point should be made about Evans acquisition by Ernie Grunfeld. For years, it has appeared that Grunfeld favors athletic potential over fundamental basketball skills. While the jury is out on the Jan Vesely pick, it appears that Grunfeld has a preference for mid-lottery picks with raw ability rather than refined skill. However, the acquisition of Evans and the torpedoing of Thornton demonstrate that Grunfeld is moving outside the usual playbook in developing his bench. Rather than acquire more high-upside guys who may develop to become undervalued commodities, Grunfeld instead acquire a known commodity with limitations that immediately filled a need on the team.
This point isn't necessarily a reflection on Evans, who may or may not be re-signed by the Wizards. I'd lean towards no, because his role can be filled by the cheaper alternatives on the team such as Othyus Jeffers, Larry Owens and Chris Singleton. Each of these players gives the Wizards the production of Evans at a fraction of the cost.
What it does show, however, is this: It is too bad that Evans did not arrive in town two years earlier, at a time when his skills had not quite declined. For now, we may likely bid Mo adieu and wish him the best in his future endeavors.
A LIMERICK ON MO EVANS' 2010/11 SEASON, BY JAKE WHITACRE
Who steps in immediately to become the Wizards "3 and D" guy if Evans is not re-signed?