Action – The Toronto Raptors traded Jason Kapono for Reggie Evans
Reaction – I can’t believe the Raptors actually rid themselves of that contract and got something the team desperately needed in return!
What we gained: It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Raptors have lacked toughness and rebounding over the past few seasons. That problem is less of a concern now with the acquisition of Reggie Evans who brings both the qualities along with some heart. Calling him the next coming of Charles Oakley may be pushing it, but Evans has been in the top 10 in rebounds per 48 in minutes over the last 6 years. He is one of those guys you hate playing against but would love to have on your team. On the offensive end one can’t expect much. He doesn’t demand touches and when he does throw up the occasional shot you are sure to cringe. This actually works out better for the Raptors as he meets their defensive needs while not coming in the way of their offensive plan (see: Jermaine O’Neal). Colangelo has gone as far as saying Reggie will be the first man off the bench and we should be getting about 15-20 minutes of burn from him. The fact that we save about $1 million a year helps – Financial flexibility, toughness and rebounding makes this a match made in heaven for the Raptors.
What we lost: A pure spot up shooter who never seemed to be able to get his shot off. The thought of a guy to spread the floor was great but it never panned out and at almost $6 million a year Kapono’s price tag outweighed everything he brought to the floor. When the Raptors signed him to that huge contract they were expecting more than a 3 ball trophy from an All-Star game. One can blame the offensive system but in essence, with all his offensive abilities, an average of 7.7 ppg is just not good enough. Throw in the poor defense and the frequent traveling calls, Kapono was redundant on this roster.
Moving forward: Bryan Colangelo keeps to his word. The fact that he is fearless is the reason he is touted as one of the best in the business. As the Raptors season came to an end, he said there will be changes and this is just step 1. While all the media and fan chatter is around the future of Chris Bosh, you can bet Colangelo doesn’t plan to sit back and watch. He hates to lose and while the rest of the world speculates, I fully expect him to execute his plan to make sure his star player remains in Toronto next season and beyond.