The Atlanta Hawks today signed guard/forward Maurice Evans to a contract, according to General Manager Rick Sund. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to add a veteran player with Mo’s talents and experience to our squad,” said Sund. “He is a quality defender who gives us a physical and athletic presence, whether it’s serving as a starter or coming off the bench. We are getting a solid player who is coming off his best statistical season, and who also has the talents to spread things on offense with his three-point shooting ability.”
In 75 games with the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic last season, Evans finished with averages of 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 23 minutes of action. He began the year with Los Angeles, and was traded after seven games (along with Brian Cook) for Trevor Ariza on November 20 (Evans finished with 4.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg and 1.7 apg in 13.7 mpg). With the Magic, Evans scored 9.3 points, grabbed 3.1 boards and dished out one assist per game in 68 contests (23.9 mpg), while shooting .489 FGs and .396 from three-point range. In addition, he established career-bests in virtually every statistical category – points, FG%, 3FG%, rebounds and minutes played, as well as games started (47). Evans also scored a career-high 27 points on 11-of-16 FGs in an April 15 game at Atlanta.
A player with past playoff experience, most recently with the Orlando Magic, Evans recorded 9.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 0.7 apg in 10 games this past postseason, while shooting 50.7% from the field and .417 from three-point range.
“Evans’ addition is a great pickup for us,” Woodson said. “He brings a lot of experience to the Hawks, and he is an excellent shooter and tough defensive player who we’re happy to add to our team.”
The undrafted 6-5, 220-pounder, who is considered a strong, athletic defender, brings career averages of 7.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists (.453 FG%, .366 3FG%, .766 FT%) after five NBA seasons. Evans signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves (2001-02), where he played on 10 games. In 2002, he moved to Greece to play for Olympiakos, and in the following season (2003-04), he played for Italian powerhouse Benetton Basket Treviso (which won the Italian Cup).
Following that season Evans made the Sacramento Kings roster (2004-05) and became a rotation player. He started 11 of 65 games, and played 19 minutes per game, contributing 6.4 ppg (.442 FG%). In 2005-06, he was signed as a free agent by the Detroit Pistons and scored 5.2 points in 14.2 mpg (.452 FG%, .371 3FG%, .800 FT%) and a career-high 80 games.
In June 2006, the Pistons traded Evans to the Los Angeles Lakers for the draft rights to Cheick Samb. A backup to Kobe Bryant, he saw action in 76 contests (with 10 starts) and scored a then-career-best 8.4 ppg to go along with 2.9 rpg and 1.0 apg. Upon his move to Orlando, Evans was inserted into the starting lineup at shooting guard, contributing to the team’s Southeast Division title this year and landing the third-seed in 2008 Eastern Conference Playoffs.