Two years ago, there seemed to be no question that Tyreke Evans would be the centerpiece of the Kings' rebuilding effort.
Evans was on his way to winning Rookie of the Year and was the focus of a marketing campaign touting that he was one of just four rookies to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in NBA history.
As the point guard, Evans had been handed control of the Kings. And the higher-priced and more-seasoned Kevin Martin had been traded, making Evans "the man" as a rookie.
Are the Kings still Evans' team?
"I don't know," Evans said. "I'm still trying to find my way from playing the 'one' (point guard) to the 'three' (small forward), so it's an adjustment."
As his third year nears an end, the 6-foot-6 Evans is still trying to figure out how he fits with the Kings, who have finished near or at the bottom of the league standings in recent seasons.
Evans has gone from the "one" in more than one way. Instead of leading the team in scoring, he's the third-leading scorer behind Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins, averaging a career-low 16.4 points.
Evans has been praised for the changes he's made this season. By moving to small forward, Evans stepped aside to allow rookie Isaiah Thomas to run the team to begin games. He always has had the ball, and now he's learning to lead from a new position.
Evans is eligible for a contract extension during his fourth season, and his worth is uncertain, but it appears unlikely the franchise will give him a maximum contract.
"(Evans has) already proven he's a very good player," Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said. "Going forward for his game to continue to grow, he's got to continue to work on areas of his game that need improvement."
If the Kings don't sign Evans to a long-term deal, his unique combination of size, athleticism and ability to defend and play multiple positions might entice a team to part with a veteran player for him.
Petrie declined to discuss the Kings' plans for Evans, saying a decision won't be made until after the season, when he meets with coach Keith Smart and all player evaluations are done.
"Before going public (with talks), you should have the private ones first," Petrie said.
One thing Evans liked about Sacramento when he arrived was it wasn't a major market with national media focused on him.
During the 20-5-5 campaign in this rookie season, Evans admittedly was embarrassed by the attention. And he said he hasn't given much thought to the future.
"I like it here," Evans said. "I got drafted here, so I'd really like to be here. But I've got to wait and see what happens. You'll never know what's going to happen."
That also could apply to what position Evans plays.
Petrie said Evans can play three positions: point guard, shooting guard and small forward. But Evans isn't a good perimeter shooter; he's made just 21.3 percent of his three-point attempts this season.
"That's the one piece that's missing from his game right now is the consistent jump shot," Smart said.
Evans is shooting 47.4 percent when he starts at forward and 41.1 percent as a guard.
"Regardless of what position he plays, the development of his jump shooting was going to have to come around at some point," Smart said. "So looking at him trying to run the team and trying to develop all those things, for me and for our team, I thought it was best to get him off the ball a little bit."
Petrie agrees Evans' position isn't as important as his overall improvement.
"I don't think he should be pigeonholed as a 'three' at this point," Petrie said.
One thing that's forgotten in Evans' development is that injuries cost him much of his second season. Evans played most of the first half of the season bothered by plantar fasciitis and ankle sprains, missing 25 games.
The Kings were disappointed with Evans' conditioning last season, but Smart said Evans was in better shape this season.
Evans plans to be ready for whatever Smart needs him to do next season.
"I've just got to be prepared better for next year," Evans said. "This year coming in has to be a great year."