DeMarcus Cousins is apparently a major fan of Reggie Evans, and while that might have to do with a personal connection, perhaps Cousins just likes playing with elite rebounders. Evans has carved out a niche in the NBA as just that, and he’s far and away the most efficient rebounder still available on the free agent market. Tristan Thompson, who helped state his case for a lucrative deal in restricted free agency with his strong offensive rebounding performance in the playoffs, didn’t come close to the rate of total rebounds that Evans collected per 36 minutes over the course of the regular season.
Carlos Boozer‘s name appeared the top of the list of the best per-36-minute scorers still available, and he shows up at No. 3 below, a signal that the minimum salary isn’t going to be enough to lure the Rob Pelinka client. The shallow pool of rebounders left furthers Boozer’s case. Larry Sanders is uncertain to ever play again, health issues have dogged JaVale McGee, and Elton Brand is contemplating retirement. Only four remaining free agents averaged at least 10 rebounds per 36 minutes this past season, providing they played at least 20 games and averaged 10 or more minutes per contest. Here are the top 10 in that category:
- Reggie Evans (14.1)
- Tristan Thompson (10.8)
- Carlos Boozer (10.3)
- Larry Sanders (10.2)
- Cory Jefferson (9.8)
- Henry Sims (9.2)
- JaVale McGee (8.6)
- Jason Maxiell (8.3)
- Austin Daye (7.8)
- Elton Brand (7.4)
- Brandon Davies would be next, with 7.1 rebounds per 36 minutes.
- Jeff Adrien would have appeared at No. 2 on this list, with 12.9 boards per 36 minutes, but he only appeared in 17 games, not enough to qualify.
- Another would-be No. 2, Joel Freeland, signed to play in Russia. He averaged 11.1 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Which of these free agents would you most want to see on your team? Leave a comment to tell us.