What are the Raptors doing?
Trying to win, I guess.
Despite predictions of mass tanking across the NBA next season, Toronto – which also rejected dumping the talented-but-overpaid Rudy Gay for cap relief and traded Andrea Bargnani (a move that helps with the cap and increases the Raptors’ chances of winning next season) – will sign Tyler Hansbrough to a two-year contract, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.
Hansbrough, 27, offers little upside for a rebuilding team. But for a Raptors team that went 33-26 to close last season, he can fill a very specific role.
He’ll be a bull offensively, grabbing rebounds and scoring in the paint (and perhaps shooting a few too many jumpers). Just don’t expect him to pass. Hansbrough averaged an assist every 38 minutes last season – and that was actually more frequent than the year before.
Obviously, the terms of the deal will be crucial to the Raptors, who are still in the range of the luxury-tax line. The Pacers deemed Hansbrough not to be worth a one-year, $4,135,391 contract, so it will be interesting to see how Toronto values him.
The Pacers have relied less and less on Hansbrough, and after re-signing David West, keeping Hansbrough would have been a luxury. Instead, Indiana signed Chris Copeland, who might fit better than Hansbrough did.
The Pacers should be fine without Hansbrough, and the Raptors should be a little better with him. This just came down to how each team perceived him and how much each could afford to spend.