Next up for our Player Profile feature is Mo Evans.
And, of course, we couldn’t forget about everybody’s favorite “veteran presence”. So joining me to profile Mo Evans was Ben Mehic.
What a weird year Mo Evans had.
This time a year ago he was about to become a free agent, but had an even bigger concern on his plate — the pending NBA lockout. And ultimately as the VP of the NBA Players Association, he helped save a season that at many points looked lost.
Once the lockout was lifted, he found his way back to the Wizards on a one-year deal. I was skeptical about Evans returning as a free agent, being that he was primarily an afterthought in the trade deadline the Wizards made with the Hawks in 2011. But he came at a cheap price and his veteran presence was a welcomed addition.
And it didn’t take long for his “veteran presence” to be put to the test.
Following an 0-6 start, the Wizards held a team meeting, organized by Mo Evans. Afterwards, he told the media:
The sense of entitlement that’s here sometimes, I’ve never seen before. We have to start earning things. Earn your way into the rotation. Earn your way onto the floor, and then you earn your minutes by being productive, and when you’re not in the rotation, you be supportive and make guys better in practice.
And he was absolutely right.
After that players-only meeting, the Wizards made a major trade at the deadline, gave playing time to younger players, made a coaching change, and became more competitive after the trade deadline. The one consistently inconsistent thing throughout the season was Mo Evans’ playing time.
He did average over 20 minutes per game in the Wizards’ final seven games, but didn’t play in the eleven games prior to that. Evans had little stretches during the season where he would get some solid minutes off the bench for two or three games, and then would go right back to his role as bench spectator. I’m not complaining though. That’s what Mo Evans was re-signed to do.
Don’t expect Evans back with the Wizards next season, but for this season, I’ll give him a solid B.
He did his job and did what he was supposed to do. And I respect that.
Maurice Evans is one of the best character guys in the NBA. It didn’t hurt to have him on this team since the Wizards lack(ed) professionals, and were viewed as the biggest knucklehead team in the league.
After getting acquired from the Atlanta Hawks, Evans was in and out of the lineup. Even when he wasn’t playing, he provided a sense of leadership this team so desperately needed. He’s one of the most vocal players on the team, and he lets everyone know how he truly feels. Even though he’s leaned on purely on his veteran leadership, Evans did provide some offense from his time on the court. “Mo” had his best game of the season during the finale against the Miami Heat. Evans scored 18 points in that game, and added two 3-pointers in doing so. The Wizards were 28th in the league in three point percentage, so Evans’ 37.8 percent from three-point range contributed much of the Wizards’ success from beyond the arc.
Mo Evans is nearly 34 years old, and his time in the NBA appears to be coming to an end. If any team, including the Wizards, decides to bring back Mo Evans, it won’t be for his contributions on the floor. The Vice President of the Players Association has played all over the world during his career, and that in itself is respectable. He’s gone from playing on a perennial playoff team such as the Atlanta Hawks to playing for the laughing stock of the league. His professionalism has helped shape the ever evolving culture in D.C.