It is quite uncommon to see a role player on a losing team become a valuable asset to a teams rebuilding process. Role players often are expendable pieces to young losing teams as they are looking for players with upside and the great role players end up on championship contenders as the integral depth players needed to withstand a Finals run. (See: Posey, James. Horry, Robert)
But Reggie Evans has broken the mold and has became the Raptors most important unsigned player. He has turned his hard nosed style and tough play into becoming one of the game’s best rebounders and has earned the love of Dino Nation. Beyond his play Reggie has become a leader for a young Raptors squad and seems to elevate the play of the team when he is healthy.
With the increase of minutes last season Reggie had his first double digit rebounding average of his career at 11.5 boards a game during his injury plagued 30 game campaign. With the rest Reggie has been given via the lockout it is possible that a healthy Reggie Evans can average in the 11 to 15 rebound per game range in his spot in the Raptors rotation while providing defense, toughness and experience. Which happen to be the young Raptors three biggest holes.
Another factor that makes re-locking up Evans so important is the departure of Joey Dorsey, who is stuck overseas without an opt-out in his contract. Losing both Evans and Dorsey would leave the Raptors with a potential frontcourt that would be over-reliant on Amir Johnson, Ed Davis and Andrea Bargnani assuming Jonas Valanciunas spends the year in Europe.
The Raptors have a special player that can be a huge key in their rebuilding process. Who cares that he is a 31 year old with injury problems and can only rebound? If the Raptors want to continue to improve and rebuild Reggie Evans needs to be wearing a Raptors uniform on Opening Night.