Every team has that one guy who is their enforcer, their high energy guy, the one guy who’s going to come in off the bench and use all six of his fouls if he has to. For the Indiana Pacers that player was Tyler Hansbrough. Hansbrough, or Psycho T as he was known fittingly, was the Pacers’ grunt. He brought the tons of energy off the bench for the Pacers. Now, Indiana will be without him.
On Tuesday it was reported that Hansbrough was moving on from the organization that drafted him 13th overall in the 2009 NBA draft. Hansbrough reportedly signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors.
Last season Hansbrough averaged 7 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game in 81 games that included eight starts filling in for power forward David West when he was out. For his career, Hansbrough has averaged 8.9 points per game.
The Pacers will rely heavily on newly acquired Chris Copeland to bring the energy they lose with the departure of Hansbrough. While Hansbrough did most of his damage in the paint, the ex-Knick Copeland is more of a stretch power forward. Copeland isn’t the rebounder that Hansbrough is either. Hansbrough has averaged more than double the amount of rebounds per game for his career at 4.7 boards per game while Copeland manages to pull down just 2.1 per contest. Copeland does bring more athleticism and better three-point shooting than Hansbrough, but is not the same physical presence that he is.
As for Hansbrough, he’ll add depth to the weaker interior of Toronto, especially with them trading forward Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks. Hansbrough will bring good rebounding skills, a solid mid-range game and active defense for the Raptors.
The 6-foot-9 Hansbrough was a restricted free agent but the Pacers granted him unrestricted free agent status after signing starting power forward West to a three-year $36 million contract.