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Ranking all of Steph’s teammates: #95 — Jacob Evans III

Evans never was the Curry backup that some envisioned.

Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

On June 25, 2009, the Golden State Warriors drafted Steph Curry. Ten years and 16 days later, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. With that move, Curry moved to second in the NBA for longest tenure with his current team. The only player he sits behind is Udonis Haslem, though that feels like a technicality. At this point, Haslem is essentially an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, having appeared in just 43 games and played fewer than 300 minutes over the last four seasons combined.

During his time in the Bay Area, Curry has had 106 teammates who have appeared in at least one game. Some played in exactly one game, while others played in hundreds. Some never actually played in a game that Curry was active for, while others formed historically great partnerships with him.

And I’m ranking all 106, one a day, over the course of three months.

Players are ranked — and stats are shown — based only on their time as Curry’s teammate. How good/bad they were in other organizations doesn’t matter. How good/bad they were on pre-2009-10 Warriors teams doesn’t matter.

To see all of the rankings thus far, you can click on the “Ranking Steph’s teammates” tag at the top of the article.

#95 — Jacob Evans III

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Games: 57 (T-46th out of 106)
Points per game: 2.9 (T-86th out of 106)
Rebounds per game: 1.2 (T-88th out of 106)
Assists per game: 0.9 (T-62nd out of 106)

I held out as long as I could before including Jacob Evans III on this list. As long as I possibly could.

Look, I’m not proud of my past Evans takes.

I’m not flaunting how ill-advised my optimism was. I just feel like I should document it in the name of objective journalism.

There really wasn’t much of a reason to think Evans would turn into a good player, but that didn’t stop me from trying. He never looked comfortable with the NBA game, and never looked like he was moving as quickly — physically or mentally — as the other players on the court. His jump shot wasn’t Markelle Fultz levels of broken, but it was broken. He couldn’t penetrate or create, and his defense wasn’t noteworthy.

As of writing this, I don’t think that Evans has an above-average NBA skill. Or even an average one.

I think I saw some Shaun Livingston in him, since Livingston couldn’t shoot threes, and was far from an athletic force. But Livingston had an automatic short-mid jumper, tremendous basketball IQ, strong defensive fundamentals, and a few extra inches on Evans.

I also just wanted Evans to succeed, because he seemed like a nice guy and a hard worker, who received way too much vitriol from a fanbase that expected Bob Myers to be able to turn every late first or early second-round draft pick into Draymond Green.

Evans is still just 22, with only 59 games under his belt. There’s plenty of time for him to develop into a quality NBA player, even if he hasn’t shown anything to suggest it will happen. Much, much crazier things have happened in the NBA. And if he does, I’ll always say I saw it coming.

As it is, he was drafted to get some minutes while Curry was on the bench, as a leader of the second unit. A lot of bad performances, an untimely injury as he started to play well, and a few dozen trips to and from Santa Cruz stood in the way, and left him as Curry’s 95th-greatest teammate.

I’ll be pulling for him, at least.

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