In 2019, Tyreke Evans was “dismissed and disqualified” from the NBA for violating the league’s anti-drug program. The league announced that he could apply for reinstatement after a two-year period.
Now, after three years, the NBA announced that they have reinstated Evans.
Evans, 32, has been training in Miami with John Wall and Michael Beasley, and he's hoping to sign with an NBA team in the near future. The NBA’s press release states that Evans will be eligible to sign with a team on Feb. 18, 2022.
The league only suspends players if they test positive for “drugs of abuse.” According to ESPN, those drugs include “amphetamine and its analogs, which include methamphetamine; cocaine; LSD; opiates, including heroin, codeine and morphine; and PCP."
It’s unclear which of those substances Evans tested positive for; the NBA announcement simply said that he tested positive for "a prohibited substance."
Years ago, Chris Andersen and OJ Mayo faced similar punishments for failing drug tests. Andersen ended up coming back and playing 10 more seasons in the NBA after being banned (and he won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2013). Mayo hasn't played in the NBA since being banned, but he has hooped overseas in Puerto Rico, China, Taiwan and Serbia.
Evans has career averages of 15.7 points, 4.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals, while shooting 44.0% from the field, 32.3% from three and 75.7% from the free-throw line. He won the NBA's Rookie of the Year award in 2010, after being selected No. 4 overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
The last time we saw Evans in 2018-19, he was suiting up for the Indiana Pacers and averaging 10.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 threes in 20.3 minutes on .389/.356/.719 shooting splits.
In 2017-18, Evans had one of the best seasons of his career with the Memphis Grizzlies, putting up 19.4 points, 5.2 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 2.2 threes and 1.1 steals on .452/.399/.785 shooting splits.
It remains to be seen what kind of market there will be for Evans, but he’ll be a name to watch in the coming weeks when buyout season heats up. He’s not too old and he may be able to help a team in need of some offensive firepower.