The Indiana Pacers did surprise a few people by deciding to rescind the qualifying offer for Tyler Hansbrough, making the backup power forward an unrestricted free agent, with teams like the Charlotte Bobcats, Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons and the Utah Jazz that should be considering making a move for him.
Hansbrough isn’t going to get a lot of points, but as he is often compared to Nick Collison, you’ll get plenty of defense, rebounding, hustle and intelligence when he’s on the floor, averaging 7 points in 16.9 minutes per game last season for the Pacers.
In the playoffs he played even less, which might suggest that if they do manage to add a big man to the team, Hansbrough is no longer going to be a part of the Pacers’ future, declining the $4.2 million offer he got from them as free agency began.
While it might be too soon to close the door on the two sides, there are other teams that might be able to give Hansbrough more minutes and more money, and in more need of his defense and the moments of rest he gives big men.
The Charlotte Bobcats are still one of the worst teams in the NBA, and it’s going to take quite a while for them to change that label. They added Cody Zeller in the draft, who is a better offensive player than Hansbrough, but having them as a duo in the frontcourt, at least during certain minutes of the game, would really help the Bobcats play some uptempo basketball, while the North Carolina connection is also something to think about.
The Kings were the second-worst defensive team in the NBA last season, so Hansbrough should definitely be an welcomed addition to their big-man core already consisting of DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson and Patrick Patterson, all known for the offense they bring.
The Detroit Pistons have an excellent front line with Monroe and Drummond, but could definitely use a backup who can contribute through substantial minutes like Hansbrough, with Jason Maxiell becoming a free agent and probably not coming back.
The same reasoning goes for the Utah Jazz, who probably won’t bring back Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, which leaves their frontcourt a little thin with Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors, meaning Hansbrough should have quite a big role to play if he lands in Salt Lake City.