It is rare that anything the Raptors do is met with a general positive reaction. When news broke yesterday, to a man(or woman) everyone loved this move the Raptors made. Bryan Colangelo in his end of the season address to the media, said that this team was to nice and not tough enough and he was going to do something about it. True to his word, yesterday he pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Jason Kapono to the Sixers for Reggie Evans. Evans is a guy that a lot of Raptor fans had mentioned as a good fit in the past. Now we will find out if he is indeed that. He is a tough guy that will go bang and fight on the glass and he has a bit of an attitude that he does it with. Not since Charles Oakley have the Raptors had a guy like this. Evans is not Oakley in terms of skill. But in terms of approach and attitude he is very similar. Kapono just never could live up to the big number on the contract that he signed to come to Toronto. That is the other nice thing about this deal the Raptors save a nice sum off the cap.
From the Sixers point of view they lacked 3 point shooting. In bringing in Eddie Jordan and his Princeton offense the need for that shooter became glaring. You can make a strong case that if the Sixers do not hire Jordan that this deal may not happen. Kapono may in fact do very well in Philadelphia under the Jordan system on offense. It is not that Jason Kapono was not a good guy in his time in Toronto. It was just a case of having to many of them and the fact he never matched his production to his contract number.
The addition of Evans calls into question if Pops Mensah-Bonsu will be back with the Raptors. The early indications are he is not going to be. He may even end up in Europe and not the NBA. However fans will likely adopt Reggie Evans fairly quickly given the stuff that we expect him to do. Evans is expected to join Bosh, Bargnani, Humphries, Jawai and O'Bryant. If Evans can have some of his toughness rub off, on the younger guys like Jawai, Hump and O'Bryant, that would be a great thing.
Bryan Colangelo in his comments after the trade also made it pretty clear he is not done with the changes. This is just the start of the re-tooling of this roster. He also made it pretty clear that even though he might listen that if people are thinking Chris Bosh being traded is part of that..think again. Colangelo said that Bosh was a big reason to why he came here in the first place. Colangelo seems willing to stand firm and not be pushed into making a trade for the sake of making a trade. He makes a valid point that if Bosh wants to get the most money even if it is not with Toronto it must go through Toronto. Chris Bosh would need to sign with the Raps to get the roughly 127 million he could get in a max contract with an extra year. That in comparison to roughly 97 million if he walked and did not sign with the Raps. Those are Colangelo's numbers but as he said they are subject to change with the Cap always a fluid number from year to year.
He also seems pretty confident that if Shawn Marion is not a Raptor next season that he will be moved in some type of sign and trade move. He said that of the 4 teams that have money to spend he only sees one that has an interest in Shawn and sees that as an unlikely landing place. As for how much the Raptors have to spend? He said after this move The Raptors will have somewhere between 9 and 10 million in cap space. That is of course subject to the new cap numbers yet to be set.
In addition he said that Quincy Douby has been working out 8 hours a day in Las Vegas and he is doing very well in those workouts. He also has some optimism about Patrick O'Bryant. I am not sure why that is beyond the size and potential he may have. But in listening to Bryan yesterday it is clear he has a plan and it is clear that plan might be a lot different from the ones others might have expected.
For the first time in a long time Raptor fans had something to be optimistic and positive about. Reggie Evans is never going to be an all star but he can be part of the changing of a culture of a team that has worn a soft label for a long long time. Go Reggie Go and get out there and kick some a$$!!!
Going to be doing a few interviews on the draft over the next couple days so make sure you look for them over the next few days. Also I have my own section over at Hoops Doctors now where you can read all of the articles I have written for them.