14 August 2007

Rumor Mill: Reggie Evans and Adonal Foyle?

I've spent much of my free time this week composing my upcoming Southeast Division preview. As such, I've been mum on the subject of two rumors involving the Magic, both of which involve the team filling a frontcourt need.

Reggie Evans is the first player to have his name brought up. He played sparingly with Denver last season, but he does have value as a rebounder. In fact, Evans has lead the league in rebound rate in each of the past three seasons. For the uninitiated, rebound rate is a measure of the likelihood that a player will rebound a missed shot while he is on the floor expressed as a percentage. Evans' rebound rate last season was 23, a remarkably high number. Consider that he has 9 other players on the floor with whom to fight for rebounds. Now consider that he will beat each of those 9 other players to the ball 23 % of the time.

In spite of his rebounding skills, Evans is most famous for grabbing Clippers center Chris Kaman in a sensitive area during the 2005/2006 playoffs. The Nuggets are so desperate to dump salary that they are apparently willing to ship Evans and his four-year, $20 million deal to Orlando in exchange for Pat Garrity, whose contract will expire after this season. I'm all for adding a rebounder of Evans' caliber, especially if it means losing Garrity, who no longer possesses NBA-level talent. I'm willing to put Evans' dubious past behavior and lack of offensive skills aside and would welcome this move if it were made.

The Evans trade may never come to fruition, though, as another post player has recently become available and aleady has an "in" with Magic management. The second, more prominent player mentioned is Adonal Foyle, the career-long Warrior who recently accepted a buyout from Golden State to become a free-agent. As others have pointed out, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Magic are keen on signing Foyle for the veterans' minimum, which is all the team can offer. Magic Assistant General Manager Dave Twardzik was in charge of the Warriors when they drafted Foyle in 1996 and apparently has a close relationship with him.

Foyle's age -- 32 -- doesn't concern me any more than Tony Battie's does, as Foyle is less than a year older than the Magic's incumbent starting power forward. He can rebound at Battie's level and is a better shot-blocking presence. His offensive game is more limited than Reggie Evans', but the Magic have enough scorers. I'm in favor of adding Foyle, but my endorsement of Evans is stronger, mostly because he doesn't miss the basket completely when he shoots.

Overall, Reggie Evans and Adonal Foyle aren't players to get too excited about, but they are still talented and would add depth to the Magic's frontcourt. If Chris Webber and P.J. Brown decide to sign elsewhere, Evans and Foyle are the two next-best things.


Ty Keenan said...

The FanHouse post links to some article from your area saying that JR Smith could be involved, too. You guys need to get that deal done.

Ben Q. Rock said...

FanHouse post? What? I try to avoid AOL.
Adding J.R. Smith would be cool if only because it would mean we'd have three potential dunk contest winners on our roster, but I doubt the Magic would add a player who got his friend killed in an auto accident. DeVos and co. don't like guys unless they have squeaky-clean images. If that weren't the case, we would have traded Turkoglu for Ron Artest a while ago.