Joey Dorsey and Reggie Evans

Joey Dorsey
Season stats: 43 GP (nine starts), 12.1 MPG, 3.1 PPG, 52.5 FG%, 47.7 FT%, 4.4 RPG

Considering the fact that he’s only played in 61 career games over just three seasons, I thought Joey Dorsey was still a lot younger than 27-years-old. When you look at his season and career thus far with knowledge of his age, you realize that he’ll probably never be more than what he was this season for the Raptors.

Sure, Dorsey was always ready to come in and help the young Raps in any way he was asked, and performed admirably when called upon. But at the end of the day, he was still just the fifth or sometimes sixth big for Toronto.

Dorsey showed that he can be an excellent rebounder in the NBA, averaging over four boards a game in just 12 minutes per game, and collecting an impressive 20 rebounds on an April night in Milwaukee. He also showed some signs of being a nice finisher around the basket and an aggressive force taking the ball to the rim.

His biggest areas of weakness were his free throw shooting and his inconsistent defense, but I dare you to find anyone on this year’s Raptors squad that brought a consistent effort on the defensive end.

When you read this evaluation, you would get the impression that Joey Dorsey is a serviceable NBA big man in limited minutes, and you would be right. I totally agree with that assessment of Dorsey after watching him play this year. But again, if he hasn’t evolved into anything more than a “serviceable” player in limited minutes for a 60-loss team by the age of 27, it’s hard to see him doing it anytime in the near future.

Having said all of that, if it can be done for very cheap, I still wouldn’t mind having Dorsey around as an emergency big off of the bench.

Scott Carefoot’s take on Joey Dorsey: There are two things I would like you to know about Joey Dorsey. First: In the six games he played at least 20 minutes this season, he averaged 9.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.7 steals while shooting 47 percent from the field. Second: He could probably be re-signed for whatever a minumum-level contract will be under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Why wouldn’t any GM want a guy like this on his bench? Regardless, it seems as though he’s not part of the Raptors’ plans for next season. I don’t know why this is. There may be something about his attitude or off-court activities that makes him undesirable. All I know is that every time Dorsey was given significant playing time, he produced. Am I alone on the “Keep Joey Dorsey Bandwagon”?

Reggie Evans
Season stats: 30 GP (18 starts), 26.6 MPG, 4.4 PPG, 40.8 FG%, 54.5 FT %, 11.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1 SPG

Career stats: 572 GP, 19.5 MPG, 4.3 PPG, 46.6 FG%, 52.3 FT%, 6.9 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.7 SPG

Given his hustle, his intensity, his toughness, the way he goes after rebounds and loose balls as if he was stranded on an island and they contained the necessities of life, and of course, given that fact that he has become a fan favourite in Toronto after just two seasons, you would think that Reggie Evans would warrant a long, individual post.

Instead, due to injuries that have limited him to just 58 total games over two seasons in T.O. and a smaller role, Reggie Evans ends up having to share a post with Joey Dorsey.

It didn’t have to be this way. In the pre-season of the 2009-2010 season, Evans had the ACC faithful chanting his name for his impressive hustle and spirit in October. Then a severely sprained foot kept him out of action until after February. By the time he got back on the court, the Raptors had trouble finding a role for him, he never looked comfortable, and the team spiraled into an astonishing collapse, missing the playoffs by one game.

In 2010-2011, it looked like Reggie’s revenge. The Iowa big man was tearing down rebounds at an astounding rate. Although it was very early in a season full of questions for the suddenly faceless Raptors, Evans looked like he could lead the NBA in rebounding, and the young Raps looked like a possible dark horse to stay in playoff contention. As we all know by now, Reggie went down with another serious injury, missed most of the season, and the Raptors bumbled and stumbled to 60 losses.

In just 58 regular season games and a couple of pre-season campaigns, Reggie Evans has teased Raptors fans with the type of hustle and blue-collar work ethic they have been yearning for for years. No one can deny that. Of course, if the price is right, I imagine every Raptors fan would like to have Reggie back to help guide this young, rebuilding team.

The question becomes, can there be a right price for a 31-year-old veteran that hasn’t played more than 30 games in a season in three years and has only played 70 games in a season four times in nine years?

Evans has been talking a good game about feeling like he owes the fans and the organization something, but I’m sure he’s also going to want some money for being a rebounding machine and a legitimate tough guy in a league growing softer by the minute. Not to mention, I would expect that if Reggie is going to settle for a small contract, it would be with a contending team that gives him an opportunity to compete for a championship.

We obviously don’t know what the Raptors’ roster will look like when they hit the court again, but as it stands right now, younger players with potential like Ed Davis, Amir Johnson and that confusing guy from the Primo Pasta commercials, are all in line for minutes ahead of Evans.

While I would love for the Raptors to be able to bring Reggie back and become a tougher team because of him, I just don’t see how it would work. Thanks for the memories, Reggie, but I think we’re going to have to watch you grab opponents’ balls in another uniform again.

Scott Carefoot’s take on Reggie Evans: I get why Reggie Evans is a fan favorite in Toronto. I really do. This doesn’t change the fact that he’ll be more expensive to re-sign than Joey Dorsey even though he is an inferior basketball player. Yeah, he has a great attitude, he’s a great locker-room guy, the fans love him, etc. If he’s a towel-waver and occasional energy guy on a winning team, he’s an asset. On a rebuilding team like the Raptors where Ed Davis and Amir Johnson play his position, he represents a wasteful use of cap space. I wish Reggie nothing but the best wherever he signs, but I hope it’s elsewhere.

Our next player evaluation post will be on Amir Johnson, so check back for that later this week. Also, in case you missed it, you can read Scott Carefoot’s recap of Bryan Colangelo’s appearance on Tim and Sid: Uncut.