Blake’s already given you the rundown of the signing, and you’ve seen the juicy bits we have to look forward to. I thought I’d get another perspective on the signing, one directly from Indiana. Joining me on the Rapcast is Tom Lewis from Indy Cornrows.
Our discussion spanned the following topics:
- How Hansbrough’s career and progressed since he came into the league from UNC
- His projection into the pros considering where the Pacers picked him in the lottery (being a 4-year player had a lot to do with his pick)
- Problems with concussions, vertigo, inner-ear infections in his rookie year
- His best stretch of games (think playoffs)
- The reason the Pacers let him go – it wasn’t his game
- Indiana media reaction to Hansbrough’s contract being rescinded, and what the Pacers could have done
- Problems with discipline – is it getting better or worse?
- Strengths – rebounding, hustle, when he has an impact he HAS an impact
- Is this a buy-low move? Potential for improvement – growth in his offensive game, missing mid-range jumper
- Drawing parallel’s with Kenneth Faried’s role in Denver – Ujiri has a history of getting this kind of player
- Was the lack of interest in his services over the last few days surprising? Is he under-rated or over-rated?
- Relationship with David West and how it can help him in Toronto
- Somewhere between Reggie Evans and Kenneth Faried..sort of
The podcast did pretty much cover all that needed to be covered. The contract details were a little in the air and I simply think the bi-annual exception might have been used, hence the two-year rumour. If that is true, it would essentially be around the $2M range. As Blake said, it would really suck if any part of the MLE was used to sign him, because that means every other team dangling an MLE would have more to throw at a player than us. Update: It’s a 2yr deal at $3M each with the second being a team option – so the Raptors used part of the MLE.
The interesting part here was that the Pacers were apparently inclined to bring Hansbrough back, just not at the $4.1M price tag which is what his qualifying offer was at. So supposedly he wasn’t discarded due to lack of ability. For the Raptors, they filled an area of need, but with a low-skill, high-hustle player, which is what you’re essentially constricted to given where the Raptors are in terms of salary. I have some serious concerns whether he’ll be able to perform consistently against good opposition, because it sometimes looks like his effectiveness comes from being overly-aggressive which is not sustainable. He is very limited on offense in both passing and scoring (not too far above Reggie Evans but does have a hook that sometimes works) which means that the value he brings on the offensive glass better be high. There’s also the question of Quincy Acy, who on the surface looks to be a very similar player – unless the Raptors are entertaining placing Acy at the three for some reason.
Ujiri had Faried in Denver and although Hansbrough isn’t close to being as athletic or effective, I can see what he’s trying to do, but then again the whole Quincy Acy thing doesn’t compute with me. The comments about his friendship with David West are somewhat significant, the latter feeling that all Hansbrough needed was minutes. He’s not going to get those right off the bat in Toronto as he’s firmly behind Amir Johnson, but there is certainly a better chance to steal minutes over Johnson than West.
We knew coming in to the summer that any free-agent signing would be underwhelming, and while Julyan Stone firmly falls into that category, Hansbrough has the potential to surprise, if not for basketball than entertainment value. Besides, this town loves its Tie Domi types and if Reggie Evans can get consistent standing ovations at the ACC, Hansbrough should get a parade.
As of right now, the Raptors roster stands at 15 guaranteed contracts: Gay, Fields, Johnson, Lowry, Kleiza, Valanciunas, DeRozan, Gray, Ross, Acy, Camby, Novak, Richardson, Stone, and Hansbrough (pre-Hansbrough earlier depth chart). Obviously, there will be moves made around Marcus Camby (nice tweet, eh?) which would free up a potential roster spot to fill the glaring hole at PG. There’s also the Kleiza amnesty which means the Raptors could free-up two post by paying players not to play. Other than that, trade is the only way to go and the only way you’re going to get someone to take Kleiza is as part of a package where the package coming back makes even more money long-term. Sort of like the Rudy Gay deal.
Overall grade: C+. It has potential to work if Hansbrough develops a game, any game, but history says we’re basically getting the player we’ve seen the last couple of years.