General Manager Rick Sund on Reggie Evans:
On last season:
"I think Reggie is the epitome of a blue-collar worker who knows his game. He’s a little undersized, but he’s got great strength, great hustle, great rebounding. He has learned very fast the little tricks of rebounding and defense, and he plays within his game. Therefore, the coaches love him and a lot of our opponents dislike playing against him. He had a very nice and surprising year."
To close observers of the Sonics, Reggie Evans
seemed like an excellent fit for the team’s needs entering last season. In two years at the University of Iowa, Evans was a force on the inside, averaging a double-double both seasons and leading the NCAA in rebounds per game during the 2000-01 season. Scouts questioned Evans’ 6-8 height and his ability to score against NBA defenders, however, and he slipped all the way out of the 2002 Draft. The Sonics pounced on Evans, bringing him into training camp. Not only did he make the team, Evans was the starting power forward on opening night. He played just six minutes, however, and when Evans was taken out of the starting lineup by the team’s third game, it seemed his time as a regular contributor was over.
Instead, it was only beginning. Evans continued to see only sporadic playing time during the month of November, but by the start of December he had cracked the starting lineup and begun playing heavily. Again, Evans faced a threat to his spot in the rotation when he was placed on the injured list in early January with a sore right shoulder. The Sonics went just 3-7 without Evans, and he played 24 minutes in his first game back. Though they had little direct effect on him, the Sonics mid-season trades solidified Evans’ role in the rotation. He started every game the remainder of the season, playing at least 15 minutes in each, and showed the ability to play consistently at the NBA level.
Evans finished the season averaging 3.2 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game. His numbers were even better down the stretch. From the trade deadline on, he averaged 4.1 points and 8.2 rebounds. Part of that is attributable to more minutes, but Evans also dramatically improved one of his weaknesses, free-throw shooting. After sinking below 50% from the line early in the season, Evans shot 63% after the deadline. Still, Evans was not in the lineup for his scoring. On a per-minute basis, he was one of the NBA’s top ten rebounders. He also did a solid job defensively, containing the Western Conference’s many quality power forwards.
At his best ...
As the season wound down, Evans picked up his offensive output. On April 14 at Dallas, he scored a career-high 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. Evans also pulled down 11 rebounds against the Mavericks for the second double-double of his career.
Points: 13 @ Dallas 4/14/03
Rebounds: 17 @ Cleveland 12/16/02
Assists: 4 @ Milwaukee 2/6/03
Blocks: 2 vs. Indiana 12/4/02
Steals: 4 @ Denver 3/16/03
SUPERSONICS.COM Player of the Week:
Evans was the first undrafted rookie in Sonics history to start on opening night.
Evans’ Career Statistics