Tyler Hansbrough might have waited too long, or maybe he’ll just be free to get a larger offer.
The Pacers extended Hansbrough a $4,135,391 qualifying offer in June, so Hansbrough had the option for the last couple days of accepting a one-year, $4,135,391 contract with Indiana. In return, the Pacers had the right to match any offer sheet he signed with another team.
But Indiana gave up that right, and now Hansbrough lost his contract offer but becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Larry Bird said the Pacers were on a budget, and this affirms that. Indiana obviously didn’t want Hansbrough back for $4,135,391 next season after re-signing David West, who started at power forward in front of Hansbrough.
Hansbrough is now free to accept a contract from any team without Indiana matching, which should increase the interest he receives.
While this move indicates Hansbrough’s return to Indiana is unlikely, it’s not impossible. The Pacers retain Hansbrough’s bird rights and can exceed the salary-cap line to sign him.