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  • Danny Johnston / Associated Press

    Greivis Vasquez averaged career highs in scoring (13.9 points) and assists (9.0) for the New Orleans Pelicans last season. He and 5-foot-9 Isaiah Thomas will offer contrasting skill sets at point guard.

  • Tyreke Evans: He agrees to a four-year, $44 million deal with New Orleans and calls Kings fans "amazing," adding, "I will never forget you."

  • Greivis Vasquez A first-round pick by Memphis in 2010, he has the size (6-foot-6, 211 pounds) and passing skills the Kings have lacked at point guard.

Kings take a pass on Tyreke Evans

Published: Friday, Jul. 5, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 - 2:38 pm

The Kings took a big step toward addressing the lack of ball movement the past several seasons when they finalized a three-team trade Thursday that will add more passing to the offense.

Point guard Greivis Vasquez, who was second in Most Improved Player voting last season after finishing third in the NBA with nine assists per game, comes to the Kings from the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources confirmed.

The cost for the Kings is Tyreke Evans, the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year who will go the Pelicans in a sign-and-trade deal after agreeing to a four-year, $44 million contract he will sign when the league moratorium on deals is lifted July 10.

"Just got back to Sac," Evans tweeted Thursday night. "I had a great 4 years here. The Kings fans are amazing I will never forget you. A lot is memories. Thank you all!"

The Kings also will receive two second-round picks from Portland, while the Trail Blazers will get center Robin Lopez and guard Terrel Harris from New Orleans. Portland also will send second-round draft pick Jeff Withey, a center from Kansas, to the Pelicans.

Evans, a restricted free agent, had agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Pelicans on July 10, which the Kings would have had the right to match.

The Kings told Evans' representatives Wednesday they would not match the offer and began working on a deal that would give them compensation for the loss of Evans.

The Kings extended a qualifying offer worth $6.9 million to Evans last week that made him a restricted free agent.

The Pelicans offered Evans the four-year, $44 million deal Sunday night shortly after free agency started. That was about $2 million to $3 million more per season than the Kings were prepared to pay.

The Kings explored multiple options. After free-agent point guard Jose Calderon told the Kings he would not sign with them, they worked to complete the deal to land Vasquez.

Vasquez was expendable after the Pelicans acquired point guard Jrue Holiday, an All-Star with Philadelphia last season, in a trade June 27.

Vasquez (6-foot-6, 211 pounds) and Isaiah Thomas (5-9) give the Kings point guards with differing skill sets.

Thomas' scoring allows him to make plays, while Vasquez has the size and passing skills the Kings have lacked at the position.

Vasquez averaged career highs in scoring (13.9 points) and assists (9.0) for the Pelicans last season. He was a first-round pick (No. 28) in 2010 by Memphis, which traded him to New Orleans before his second season.

The Kings are still in the market for a small forward. Sacramento aggressively pursued Andre Iguodala, offering a $52 million deal over four years. Iguodala, however, was not ready to commit after meeting with the Kings on Monday, and the Kings decided to pursue other options, including Calderon, who met with the Kings on Tuesday.

The Kings could reopen talks with Iguodala, who hasn't committed to a team yet.

The Kings also will explore trades because they have room under the salary cap to absorb another contract. They could look at Washington's Trevor Ariza, who might be available after the Wizards drafted small forward Otto Porter and reached an agreement to re-sign swingman Martell Webster.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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