Toronto Raptors: Reggie Evans Is the Key to the Raptor's Future Success

Patrick Yaghoobians@PyaghoobiansAnalyst IIMarch 16, 2011

Reggie Evans: When most hear his name, they either think of him as the bald guy with the huge beard or as the guy who grabbed Chris Kaman's babymaker.

To us Raptor fans, Reggie is more than that.

To us, he is the heart and hustle of this team. He never gives up on a play, no matter how bad the situation is. He is always hustling for rebounds and he is always trying to make the right play on defense.

Evans went undrafted in 2002 and was signed by the Sonics.

Flash forward to the 2009 offseason: The Toronto Raptors acquired Evans from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for three-point fanatic Jason Kapono.

In my opinion, the Raptors won this trade as Kapono is barely doing anything in Philly, while Evans is grabbing boards like a monster.

Evans started off the season hot. He was one of the league's top rebounders and had it not been for a foot injury, Evans probably would have been first in rebounding, above Kevin Love.

While Evans was in the lineup, the Raptors were doing better than others had expected. They had nine wins in their first 20 games compared to the two to four wins many analysts projected.

Most of those wins came because of Reggie Evans's play on both ends of the court.

Although Evans doesn't score many points, he does grab a lot of offensive rebounds to give the Raptors some second chance opportunities. No other Raptor has really given the team that second chance opportunity that Reggie Evans has.

After Evans suffered his foot injury, any chance of winning games went down substantially. The Raptors only won eight of the 40-plus games in which Evans was injured.

When Evans returned for the first time, he dominated on the boards, as usual, and the Raptors easily beat the Pacers. The next few games against Utah, Charlotte and several other opponents, Evans was active and although the Raptors lost, it was by a small margin.

If the Raptors decide to sign Evans in the offseason to a contract that is worth less than his current one, the team might be able to see a big difference in the win column, but with a positive side to it.

If the team wants to shorten the rebuilding process, they must sign Reggie Evans

Thanks for reading!