It was just a few years ago the basketball world was buzzing with hype about the possibilities for the Sacramento Kings with a can’t-miss combo of Demarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans as the core of their franchise. Fast forward to this past week as the Kings ship off Cousins in a lopsided deal that sees Evans return to his old stomping grounds with little buzz left to spare.

Evans made a name for himself during his one season at Memphis. The Conference USA Freshman of the Year was the only freshman finalist for the 2009 United States Basketball Writers Association’s national player of the year award (some guy named Blake Griffin won the award instead).

By the time the 2009 NBA Draft rolled around, Evans was a hot name on the board, as expected. The Sacramento Kings, with the fourth pick of the draft, felt they got a good one after seeing Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet and James Harden go off the board with the first three picks.Folks on Twitter sure seemed to feel the Kings got a good deal, especially when Demarcus Cousins was set to join him the following year.

During Evans’ first year in the league, he was quick to leave quite the impression, drawing comparisons and debates against some players who would prove to be some of the top players in the league.

Two players that would inevitably draw head-to-head comparisons to Evans would be Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors and James Harden, then of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Curry was drafted by Golden State three picks after Evans was picked up by Sacramento. The Thunder picked Harden third overall in the same draft.

Curry went on to become a two-time NBA MVP and was a main cog in Golden State’s phenomenal success as an NBA title contender and champion. James Harden is a five-time NBA All-Star. Evans would later be acquired by the New Orleans Pelicans in a sign-and-trade deal in the summer of 2013. Evans was no longer the rising star he was projected to be by many during his rookie season, while Curry remains one of the top stars of the league.

It is true, Evans was lighting up the score sheets with an impressive rookie campaign, and the rookie of the year stuff was not pure fluff material by homer media personalities.

The Kings recently welcomed back Evans to their franchise following a trade with the Pelicans that shipped Cousins to the Big Easy. The Kings have since then been a scrambling PR nightmare on top of the years of past mismanagement. Perhaps it is fitting that one of the pieces in the deal with New Orleans is Evans, who comes back to Sacramento for a second tour of duty after being nothing more than a mere throw-in to complete the trade.

Finally, here’s one process you probably don’t want to trust…

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.