Reggie Evans reflects on trade that sent him away: “the hardest part about it (is) knowing I have four kids here.”

Reggie Evans
Reggie Evans returned to Brooklyn for the first time since his trade. (AP)
Reggie Evans
Reggie Evans returned to Brooklyn for the first time since his trade. (AP)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The NBA at its heart is a cold, ruthless business, with general managers swapping players and salaries for the betterment of their team. That’s why it was no surprise to former Nets forward Reggie Evans to hear he’d been traded to the Sacramento Kings on February 20th in a deal that brought Marcus Thornton to Sacramento.

“I wasn’t shocked by the trade,” Evans said before his new team lost to the Nets 104-89 in Brooklyn Sunday night. “I was surprised knowing that it was Sacramento that wanted me, but I wasn’t shocked too much by the trade. Like I told (Nets GM) Billy (King), it’s never personal. It’s always business, so I understand. I’m not the type to hold grudges or take it so personal once you get traded. It’s business. At the end of the day I’m still living out my dream and that’s to play in the NBA.”

Evans, who played 17 minutes in his new team’s 104-89 loss in Brookyln, had fallen out of coach Jason Kidd’s rotation near the end of his tenure with the Nets.

“(Kidd) never gave me no reason. We never had no one-on-one talk or nothing like that,” Evans said. “I never knew why I didn’t play. All I can do is control what I can control and support my teammates and whatever decision he wanted to do and just take it on the chin and still be there for my teammates and still work hard. So I’m clueless, I don’t know.”

When fans and personnel think about trades, it’s often through the prism of the team: how will player X affect our team’s product? Can player Y fill a need? Is player Z’s contract expiring, and how does that affect the team’s luxury tax status? There’s a sense of detachment: it’s the impersonal stuff that gets the focus. But the hardest part of the move for Evans hasn’t been adjusting to his life on the court, but off it.

Evans has four children, including four-month-old London Evans, who was born during this season, and son R.J., who often accompanied Evans in Brooklyn’s locker room. His kids are in school until June, and he didn’t want to move them out in the middle of the year.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. The Kings flew from Toronto to New York Friday night, and Evans didn’t take long to get home. “ASAP,” he said. “I ain’t looking at the hotel room. Hell yeah (it’s good to see family).”

“My little baby, she was out there with me for like a week. R.J. will be out there for a little while when we are done with this road trip. Him and my little brother will be out there for like two weeks to cheer with me. The girls are kinda little upset because they have school but they’ll be alright, so I still have someone out there with me.”

“That’s the hardest part about it, knowing I have four kids here. You know me, I’m really into my kids’ life like hard, real hard. Everyday, being in their life, even when I’m not with them being on the phone talking to them. We’re Skyping or iPhone or whatever. The trade part, it is what it is, but the family is hard.”