Latest News, NBA / Sep 30, 2009 / 3:11 pm

Toronto Raptors Acquired Reggie Evans to Make a Man Out of Andrea Bargnani

Andrea Bargnani
During this past offseason, when the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers swapped Jason Kapono for Reggie Evans, it looked like a minor move that help fill general needs for both teams – the Sixers were dying for outside shooting and the Raptors were looking to add some toughness and rebounding to the mix.

Now that camps have officially opened, we’re seeing that Raptors seemed to have a specific role in mind for Evans when they acquired him – to beat the hell out of Andrea Bargnani.

The Raptors are committed to Bargnani and his awesome potential, so much so, they signed him to a $50 million extension. But if there are glaring omissions to Bargnani’s game, you could argue that he leaves much to be desired in the rebounding and toughness departments. The career high of 5.4 boards Andrea averaged per game last year are ok for a guy a who spends much of his time on the perimeter, but for him to become the franchise-caliber athlete he needs to be for the Raptors to excel – and survive if they lose Chris Bosh – he has to be much, much better.

Enter Reggie Evans. This from today’s Globe and Mail:

He had his first impact before training camp even started in an informal scrimmage last week at the Air Canada Centre when he gave Bargnani a dose of mid-season nasty. Bargnani took note and came back a day later with a sense of purpose to the delight of those who watched.

“They went at it pretty hard,” said Raptors president Bryan Colangelo, who acquired Evans from the Philadelphia 76ers for Jason Kapono in June. “The first day . . . by the end of it [Bargnani] was like a punch-drunk prize fighter. He looked like he was exhausted. It was fighting on the glass; it was trying to exert more energy on the offensive end because he had someone defending him – whether it was at the three-point line or inside – with physical force.

“I saw him come back the next day with a little different approach and he was more prepared for it. I said wow, if that’s any indication of how Reggie is going to make others on the floor better, it happened in 24 hours.”

I know that you can’t make somebody tough. You can make a player tougher, but true grit is something you’re born with. Still, if having to deal with Reggie Evans on a daily basis makes Bargnani more aggressive and more comfortable really selling out attacking the glass, it could put Bargnani on the path to being an elite player.

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  • Scott

    I read about this in another toronto columnists blog. Between Bargs improving toughness and Bosh putting on 20lbs of muscle, of which most of it looks like its been put on the upper body (he finally grew into his grown man body lol). It could be looking good up front for the Raps.

  • mavs all the way

    and he, andrea (what a manly name), should be more prepared for those bitch-ass-slap from him. more slap means he’s doing a great job.

  • Scott

    btw, great to see a positive Raps article by someone other than Gerald. Usually the other dime writers to slam articles on something to do with the Raps, right Austin? lol.

  • Jake

    I thought it was a great move by the Raps just looking at it on the surface. Having it pay dividends in practice is even better. This is just what this team needs, and seeing Bargnani get tougher and improve must be a great thing for Toronto. It seems like this team’s front line will actually have a lil respect this yr and not just get pushed around.

  • doc

    I can see Reg toughening him up.I like Reggie and wish we kept him instead of nut ass kapono.

  • Ross

    Reggie Evans likes white boys.

  • tre

    @ mavs all the way
    andrea is italian for andre, manly enough for you?

    definately a good move for the raps!

  • http://www.utjazzblog.com Utah Jazz Blog

    Toughness is an underrated commodity and something that is difficult to quantify since it doesn’t always show up in the stat sheet. Evans could prove to be a great addition for Toronto even if he doesn’t get many minutes.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Perhaps he can teach Reggie how to score as a trade off?

  • Hugo

    LOL @ 9 …
    Bargnani will be a monster in 2 seasons …

  • That’s whats up

    so basically Evans is there to see if Bargnani has any nuts?

    Usually the doctors figure that out during the physicals

  • NC

    I think a lot of this is media hype in TO. I believe they got Reggis first and foremost for his on court hustle. If at the same time he makes a man out of Bargs then sweet. Still though … glad to have Reggie regardless.

  • Da_Griff

    Reggie’s always been a human wrecking ball. If you don’t grow a set, you can’t deal with him.
    If Reggie were a few inches taller, he would have been a true monster. He’s got a lot of flaws, mainly because of his size. Still, a useful player to have on the bench. He should just never, ever start.

  • http://twitter.com/TomGyorko TomGfromCanada

    why do you need to make it sound so gay

  • sh!tfaced

    Andrea will only be a monster if he played in the WNBA

  • maddskizzle

    Not as soft as many people automatically label him

    Check out the last play too, oh damn

  • LakeShow84

    I think the title of this article is a little off..

    I’ve watched Evans TAKE a males manhood, never MAKE a man..

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    if things work out, the raps can actually beat a few good teams that sleep on ‘em.


    For $50 Million Dollars, He Had Better Be!

  • heartbreaker85

    reggie “the nutgrabber” evans is in the hizzie!

  • utahJZZ

    barnani….pretty legit 5

    watch out for nash, hill, j-rich, stoudemire, & lopez with barbosa as the X factor

  • solomon (el latino machismo)

    reggie will teach ‘drea the art of nut grabbing and perfect flopping…

  • Rapz

    I think the 15lbs Bosh put on is actually just his hair

  • ab_40

    reggie is gonna slap his a$$ we just don’t know if that is figuratively speaking or litteraly

  • Mellmeister

    Reggie “The Nutcracker” Evans will make Andrea from Choir Girl, To a Dominatrix… Lady in Black Shiny Leather… hahahahaha! :)

  • Soda

    “mavs all the way says:

    and he, andrea (what a manly name), should be more prepared for those bitch-ass-slap from him. more slap means he’s doing a great job.”

    Such an ignorant thing to say. Dumb ass.