Kapono GTFO. Reggie, what took so long? Now I don’t know how many of you were readers of my old site before the RR days but if you were, you’ll know that Reggie Evans was a guy I was madly in love with. He was the rebounder we needed after New Jersey busted our butt and was even there to be had last summer when we opted for the far more expensive O’Neal. Let me put it this way: If you and Reggie Evans played ‘fetch’ and you threw a basketball from your 50th floor balcony he’d jump after it without hesitation. Great move by Colangelo, although any trade which has Kapono leaving town is automatically great.
There’s no secret to what Evans brings to the proverbial table: toughness, rebounding, physicality and all that without the drama of O’Neal. He averaged 4.6 rebounds in 17 minutes of playing time last season giving him a PER48 of 15.2, this would be good enough for second on the team behind Pops and his late-season run. He’s got a very reasonable contract averaging 4.7M until the end of the 2010-11 season when he’ll be 31, this means we got him in his relative prime. I don’t think utilization will be much of an issue with Evans, he’s been a guy who will give you production proportional to the minutes you give him and will always be cognizant of his role. He’s not going to try and play beyond his skill level (ahem, Hump) nor will he take possessions off (ahem, Pops).
I don’t think Triano will have trouble coaching Evans since he’s a guy that will fit into practically every system out there since every system needs what he brings. At 6 ’8″ he’s an undersized power-forward but that’s not a concern at all, he’s a wide body that creates a lot of box-out space on the defensive end and will prevent a lot of offensive rebounds, even if he’s not the one getting the defensive board. We were bottom three in rebounding for most of last season and the only reason we climbed to the 7-10 range in most rebounding categories is that late season push. Even then, we were the second-worst team in the league in collecting only 24% of possible offensive rebounds, Evans should definitely help there as he’s great at keeping balls alive. After a couple injury-plagued seasons which prompted the trade rumours he’s bounced back with 79 and 81 game seasons so here’s hoping for his good health to continue.
You have to love the way Colangelo’s shifting his basketball philosophy to incorporate toughness.
“Reggie’s a presence on the court. He adds a little bit of a fear factor to certain players out there, maybe with some of our players in the past. I won’t divulge sources in that regard. We’ve talked to a couple of our guys, and over time you kind of learn who they’re intimidated by on the court. Reggie is a guy that strikes some fear into some people. It’s just because he’s a rugged player. He’s an aggressive, rugged player that should add some character to this team. And this team, as we talked about, might have been a little bit too nice, might have been a little bit too soft.”
Anybody want to speculate on what Raptor players had a ‘fear factor’ of Reggie Evans? My guess is Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani, the latter because he hates getting his nuts grabbed.
The deeper question is what this does to Kris Humphries, Pape Sow, Jake Voskuhl, O’Bryant and Pops. Voskuhl is out because, well, he’s Jake. Humphries is on the books for three more seasons at 3.2M (it would’ve been only two but Colangelo was nice enough to give him a player option) and hasn’t shown that he’s more than an average banger-type even on the best of days. As much as we like his occasional rebounding and hustle, we should realize that by this point that’s about all there is to him. Nathan Jawai is doing so-so in the D-League, we haven’t seen a signal of intent from him down there and he’s coasting his way out of the NBA at this rate. One would expect him to play really well, if not dominate, but its not happening and that $736,420 team option will be an interesting call. O’Bryant showed a little something down the stretch and is owed half a million next year, at that cost he’s almost guaranteed a roster spot. Pops is a restricted free-agent whose value to us just went down because of this trade.
I don’t think you need more than two banger-types on a team but you could conceivably have three. I’d go with Pops and O’Bryant, the latter moreso because of the cost. This would be a good tme to package Humphries in a deal and add some more shot-blocking and help-defense to the bench, something Humphries struggles to do. If however we can’t ink Pops to a deal you could always go back to Humphries hoping he’ll finally show us why we paid him the money. I’d be shocked if we kept Humphries and signed Pops.
Oh yeah, K-Fraud. I’m trying to come up with a way of summing up his time with the Raptors in one sentence and I think I finally got it: A shooter that didn’t shoot. There, we’ll leave it at that. He might actually work out in Philly where his pathetic “slashing” will be frowned upon by truer athletes such as Young, Speights and Iguodala. If he can just convince himself to stick to the perimeter and only move tangent to the three-point line, he’ll be fine. It’s only when he tries to, you know, dribble and such that he gets in hot water. Ed Stefanski hopes he does just that:
“We are very excited to add one of the league’s most prolific three-point shooters in Jason Kapono. We feel that this move addresses our goal of improving our shooting from the perimeter. I want to thank Reggie Evans for his contributions to the team for the past two seasons and we wish him only the best.”
In closing, give points to Colangelo for correcting his mistake and take away points for making that mistake in the first place.
Switching gears to the inevitable Bosh trade.
Our fellow ESPN affiliates, Hornets247, are speculating about Bosh. They’re a team that thought they had made a championship move by acquiring James Posey but soon swallowed the reality that their team is terrible enough to lose by 58 at home. So, it’s natural they start questioning their core pieces, including Tyson Chandler, David West and a guy I can see many Raptors fan liking, Rasual Butler.
Both trades being proposed include Kapono but that’s only for salry reasons, we could replace him with Banks.
- Tyson Chandler, 11.8 Mil, James Posey 6.0 Mil, Hilton Armstrong, 2.8Mil expiring, Rasual Butler, 3.9 Mil expiring, Antonio Daniels, 6.6 Mil expiring, 31.1 Mil total
- Tyson Chandler, 11.8 Mil, David West 9 Mil, Rasual Butler, 3.9 Mil and Antonio Daniels, 6.6 Mil expiring, 31.3 Mil total
The major difference between the two packages is James Posey and David West and I’d much prefer David West because Rasual Butler has the potential to bring what Posey can at a much cheaper rate. David West will be turning 29 in August and has a reasonable contract averaging around 9 Mil up until 2010-11, he has a player option for the following year at 7.5 Mil. If we’re looking not to get fleeced in a Bosh transaction, getting a player of West’s caliber would be a good option.
Defensive discipline is a big issue for the Raptors and Tyson Chandler has that base covered. He’s only 26 and is locked into a 11.5 Mil deal through 2009-10 at which point he has a player option of 12.75 Mil which he is likely to pick up. West’s post-game is superior to Bosh and he tends to play much closer to the rim than him, this has the potential to create a true dual-threat with Bargnani as it’ll allow us to mix and match perimeter and post games. Again, if we want to acquire players that are proven products this is an attractive deal which carries some merit.
What neither package includes is draft picks which to me is a deal-breaker. Depending on the Hornets’ valuation of Bosh and their belief that their current squad as assembled isn’t going anywhere, they could be suckered into giving up a pick or two. They were already willing to trade Chandler for Wilcox so the question is whether they’ll be willing to give up West and picks for Bosh. What the proposed trades also don’t addresses is our need for a scoring guard, we’d be swapping big man for big men plus Rasual Butler who is at best a great role player. The Raptors’ most glaring need is at the wing positions and these trades don’t address that in a starting capacity.
On another note, once Monta Ellis’ BYC expires on July 1st, you could basically trade him straight up for Bosh with Golden State throwing picks to sweeten the deal, or you could hold out for Biedrins. Golden State have already said that they’ll make a run at Bosh in the summer and I got a feeling its going to be the sweetest deal of them all. Any deal involving Bosh should sure up one of the two wing position for at least a 2-4 year period, anything less would be risky unless we hit it big in the draft. Speaking of draft, after saying theres no way he’s fall all the way down to 9th, Demar DeRozan will be working out for the Raptors on June 16th. Maybe he read ESPN Mock Draft 3.0.
We got some workouts today too:
- James Johnson – Forward – Wake Forest
- Earl Clark – Forward – Louisville
- Ty Lawson – Guard – UNC
- Greivis Vasquez – Guard – Maryland
We also have Robert Dozier from Memphis coming in on Thursday. Check the official dot com later in the day, they’re usually pretty good about posting player interviews and video of Jim Kelly babbling away without saying anything. Kelly would make a great White House Press Secretary. Reporter: Do you think the government is overspending? Kelly: Overspending is spending more money than you currently have, we’re actually not spending enough of the money that we’re going to have therefore we need to spend more in order to avoid having less money.
Be sure to check out the second part of our scouting sit-down with Chris Denker which got a little overshadowed by the trade.
I’m off to Kashmir for three weeks.