The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 5, 2013

Three-team trade in works

NORMAN — New Orleans, Portland and Sacramento have agreed to a three-team trade sending guard Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans, center Robin Lopez to the Trail Blazers and guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings, people familiar with the deal said.

The people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because NBA rules prevent confirmation of trades until July 10, say Portland is sending second-round draft pick Jeff Withey to New Orleans and a future draft pick to Sacramento as part of the deal, which was first reported by ESPN. The trade also sends guard Terrel Harris to Portland.

Evans, a former Rookie of the Year and restricted free agent, averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists with the Kings last season, his fourth. At 6-foot-6, he has demonstrated the versatility to play either guard position, or even small forward when matchups favor doing so.

The 7-foot Lopez, who was New Orleans’ starting center after arriving in a trade with Phoenix, averaged 11.3 points to go with 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks last season, all career highs in what was his fifth NBA season. The 6-6 Vasquez, who started at point guard, averaged career highs of 13.9 points and nine assists and was widely regarded as one of the most improved players in the NBA.

For New Orleans, the trade comes on the heels of a draft-day deal that sent sixth overall pick Nerlens Noel to Philadelphia in exchange for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday. Because of Evans’ versatility, he could potentially become a key sixth man, backing up both Holiday or high-scoring shooting guard Eric Gordon as needed and giving all three players the minutes they command. That is, if the Pelicans decide not to trade Gordon, who has played only 51 games in the past two seasons combined because of lingering knee problems.

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