ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that Boston, Denver and Philadelphia were in the discussions for an Evans trade, but no team was willing to part ways with a first-round pick for the combo guard.
Memphis failed to find a workable trade of Evans, who they signed to a one-year, $3.3 million contract.
Boston reportedly offered two second-round picks and young forward Guerschon Yabusele in exchange for Memphis' barrel-chested bench scorer, but it proved too little.
But somehow, Memphis emerged from the trade deadline empty-handed, and now their fans are demanding answers because of the likelihood that Evans leaves as a free agent next summer. Central Time NBA trade deadline Thursday, Feb. 8, but it wasn't the one everyone had been anticipating.
Evans, the fourth overall pick in 2009, is averaging 19.5 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game this season. Wouldn't two second-round picks have benefitted the team more as they try to upgrade the roster talent and save money?
But, according to Wojnarowski, suitors have been protective of their first-round picks.
"We didn't get what we wanted, and so you read into that what you want", the general manager said when asked if they were holding out for a first-round pick. Tyreke Evans could find a lucrative contract elsewhere and leave the Grizzlies for nothing.
The Friday news conference culminated a stretch where Evans has not been with the team as the Grizzlies tried to deal him to better position themselves for the future. Instead, it's that awkward "uhhhh, want to come back?" kind of things. Maybe Evans is excellent in the locker room, maybe he makes a killer Lasagne and brings it in for team potlucks, but is that reason to keep him around? For what? The Grizzlies are not making the playoffs this season, so his play is not that big a benefit. That's why many fans are pissed, and rightfully so.