Bryan Colangelo didn’t waste any time in dealing Jason Kapono this summer.
The once heralded free agent acquisition failed to find a comfort zone in Toronto so it comes as no surprise that he was dealt this summer, the only thing that will surprise Raptors fans is that Colangelo was able to trade Kapono so quickly and that he was able to a player in Reggie Evans who will be a great fit for this franchise.
The past few seasons the Raptors have struggled on the glass and have lacked a toughness on the court. In some aspects this issue was addressed by the acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal last summer, but once he was dealt to Miami the team his presence was sorely missed in the locker room and on the court. By acquiring Evans the team is able to grab one of the better rebounders in the league while also getting a grizzled veteran known for his toughness.
“Reggie Evans will certainly add an element of toughness to our team,”Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo said in a statement to the media Tuesday afternoon. “He has very good rebounding and defensive instincts, addressing two areas where we have underperformed.”
Evans has averaged better than 6.5 rebounds in five of his NBA campaigns, with a career best of 9.3 per game (good enough for 12th in the NBA) during the 2004-05 with Seattle. He also averaged 7.9 rebounds during a four-year span from 2004-08.
While those numbers are solid, what is sure to impress Raptors fans is he racked up those numbers while primarily coming off the bench. Evans has appeared in 514 career regular season games with only 270 of those starts. With Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani anchoring the Raptor starting five that is a trend which will continue the next few seasons.
Even with a role coming off the bench fans can expect his rebounding numbers to stay impressive as he has ranked in the top-10 in the NBA in Rebounds Per 48 Minutes in each of the past six seasons, leading the league in 2006-07 at 19.7. He finished seventh in the NBA last season with an average of 15.3.