Three players from the 2009 NBA draft class have become all-stars and cornerstones on playoff teams.
The player that won the 2010 Rookie of the Year from that class is still finding his way.
Tyreke Evans was the Rookie of the Year (top overall pick Blake Griffin sat out the season with a knee injury) when he averaged 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists for the Kings.
Evans has not topped those numbers since amid injuries and position changes, while Griffin, James Harden and Stephen Curry have become marquee names in the league.
Curry was second in voting for the rookie honor that year.
Evans won Rookie of the Year playing point guard and recently enjoyed his best stretch of games last month with New Orleans playing a lot at that position.
Evans averaged 20.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 15 games in March. He shot 51.1 percent during that span.
A lot of injuries, moving me around, trying to get in the right rhythm and playing a little bit of point when Brian (Roberts) was down, Evans said. Its still rebound, push the fast break, try to put the pressure on the defense. The same old Reke.
Finding the same old Reke hasnt been easy. Evans was moved to small forward at the end of his third season and played shooting guard most of his fourth season.
Evans had always played point guard, but the belief was that he was best suited not to have the ball in his hands as much. But his declining statistics showed a player who was still trying to figure out how to play without the ball.
The transition to New Orleans also did not go smoothly. For the first time in his career, Evans was going to be coming off the bench full time.
One of Evans favorite NBA players is San Antonios Manu Ginobili, who has carved out a Hall of Fame-caliber career as a reserve, so the idea of being the sixth man didnt bother Evans.
But it still wasnt easy.
I wasnt used to that, so I was trying to come in the game and find a rhythm, Evans said. It was a little bit frustrating at one point. Some games Id get it, some games Id goback; it was just a matter of trying to get the system.
The injuries didnt help.
Ryan Anderson (Oak Ridge High School), who would have been a big part of the second unit, has been out since January with a neck injury.
The second unit we had was going to be a dominant second unit with me and Ryan and open up a lot of things, Evans said.
Jrue Holiday, who was acquired to be the starting point guard, also has been out since January.
When Roberts, Holidays replacement, missed time last month, it provided an opportunity for Evans to handle the ball more, and he responded well.
But next season, Evans could find himself searching for a role again. He might be a small forward once more.
His other two positions are manned by high-priced players in shooting guard Eric Gordon and Holiday.
But the Pelicans learned in March that, if needed, Evans can and is willing to be the same old Reke at point guard.
Admitting youre wrong isnt easy, but the NBA has come out several times this season when blown calls by officials have altered the outcome of games.
One of the latest examples came when the league announced that Warriors center Jermaine ONeal should have been called for goaltending late in their overtime win at Dallas. The play was not reviewable and the NBA said the call was not obvious to the naked eye (even though several Mavericks would say it was clearly goaltending).
That play set up Stephen Currys game-winning shot, putting the Warriors closer to clinching a postseason berth.
But if Dallas misses the playoffs by a game, the NBA admitting the mistake wont make the Mavs feel better.
Its been a rough season for Milwaukee center Larry Sanders, starting with injuring his hand at a nightclub early in the season.
Now, Sanders is out for the season with an eye injury.
Sanders, however, still managed to earn a five-game suspension hell have to serve next season when healthy for violating the NBAs drug policy. He tested positive for marijuana and advocated for its use even though it is banned by the NBA, saying the league has been deprived of its medical benefits.
The stigma is that its illegal. I hate that. Once this becomes legal, this all will go away. But I understand for my work its a banned substance. I will deal with the consequences and I apologize again to my fans for that. Sanders to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on his suspension for marijuana use after his third positive test.