The Toronto Raptors are in the midst of change, like many teams in the NBA. Looking to add some toughness to their second unit, the Raptors decided to sign unrestricted free-agent Tyler Hansbrough after the Indiana Pacers decided to rescind their qualifying offer.
Over the course of four seasons with the Pacer’s, Hansbrough averaged 8.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.2 blocks, with 42.7 percent shooting from the field. This was all done while averaging just 19.7 minutes per game. With the Raptor’s bench ranking 19th overall in rebounding last season in the NBA, Hansbrough aggressive rebounding style could be the perfect compliment for a thin Raptor’s frontcourt.
This upcoming season, Hanbrough will undoubtedly receive more minutes, especially with Amir Johnson being the only player ahead of him in the rotation for power forward. With Hansbrough listed at 6-foot-9, he could also see sparse minutes at center. The heavy reliance on Hansbrough in the paint will increase his rebounds and blocks per game, thus potentially making this a breakout season for the fifth year role player.
Hansbrough role with the Raptor’s will be extremely important this season. His aggression around the rim will be vital in providing a spark to the second unit, both offensively and defensively. Because the Raptor’s play in the weak Eastern Conference, they have the potential of grabbing the eighth seed in the playoffs, gaining some postseason experience and finally climb out of the basement of the conference. Signing Hansbrough was a smart move by the Raptors, and hopefully it pays dividends throughout the regular season and potentially the playoffs.