NBA reinstates ex-Kings, Pelican guard Tyreke Evans after 2019 drug ban

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced Monday that Tyreke Evans, NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2010, has been reinstated to play in the league after serving a two-year suspension for violating the NBA/NBPA anti-drug program. Evans was disqualified on May 17, 2019, under the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. He was eligible to apply for reinstatement last year.

The league announced Monday that Evans is now an unrestricted free agent, eligible to begin negotiations with teams immediately and can sign a contract as soon as Friday. The 32-year-old Evans has played 11 seasons in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers. Drafted fourth overall by Sacramento in 2009, Evans earned the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award during the 2009-10 season averaging 20.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He averaged 10.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists with Indiana prior to his dismissal from the league during the 2018-19 season.

Evans is the first NBA player to be banned and reinstated since Chris “Birdman” Andersen, who was reinstated in 2008 after serving a similar two-year ban. Under the league’s jointly approved drug policy, a player can be suspended for two years if he tests positive for what’s considered a “drug of abuse.”

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