NBA, NBA Draft / Jun 22, 2009 / 8:54 am

Tyler Hansbrough Could Be A Lottery Pick

UNC's Tyler Hansbrough

UNC's Tyler Hansbrough

If Tyler Hansbrough ends up being selected within the top 15 picks on Thursday, he’ll have leapfrogged Stephen Curry, Jonny Flynn, and every other prospect as having made the biggest jump up the draft board.

Even if Psycho-T doesn’t have the upside of a Terrence Williams, Earl Clark, James Johnson, or B.J. Mullens, some teams are coming to see his high-octane effort as a unique, valuable skill in the League.

On Friday, the Hawks were wowed by his energy for an entire workout. The quotable Hawks’ assistant coach Larry Drew, Sr., who raved about Wayne Ellington‘s shooting display recently, loved what he saw from Hansbrough.

“He kicked the meter up. It was off the Richter Scale,” said Drew. “That was one of those 8.0s, one of those quick, hard earthquakes. Because his energy is at another level. You just don’t see many players capable of playing with that type of energy and effort and can sustain it through a game, or even a workout. He plays at a totally different level than some of these young guys out here.”

On Blog Maverick, Mark Cuban took a full swing at the NBA Draft blog-o-sphere recently, saying that no one really has any clue what’s going on, and ESPN should blacklist certain blogs who just spit out rumors. There’s a chance that the notion of Hansbrough-in-the-lottery is misinformation. There’s a chance that he’s going to go at the very bottom of the first round as originally predicted. But there’s always a chance that some of these GM’s and scouts are telling the truth.

“If this kid is still there at 19, the Hawks better not hesitate,” another Eastern Conference executive told Sekou Smith of the AJC. “The kid’s a dream for coaches in our league, because he’s going to come in and crank things up automatically. He’s just wired differently than most of these other guys.”

Source: AJC

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  • Chris

    He’s also underrated athletically…there’s youtube videos of him dunking from just inside the foul line in practice. I’m not saying he’ll be an all star one day, but if he starts for ten years in the league don’t be surprised.

  • jzsmoove

    I see “upside” and “potential” players relegating Hansbrough to the late 1st rd. These GMs nowadays just dont want to be the one who let the TMacs and Kobes slide past them. Meanwhile the one who can contribute right away slip to the late picks.

  • IGP

    He should be a top 5 pick based on resume alone.

  • Celts Fan

    I wouldn’t grab him in the lottery in most drafts, but based on how terrible this one’s supposed to be, I could see it if you think he can come right in and be your enrgy big off the bench. At a legit 6′ 9″ (everyone assumed he was closer to 6′ 7 or 6′ 8″) there’s no reason he can’t eventually become David Lee or Sideshow Varajau in the right situation.

  • Sixx

    Anybody else find it funny that Larry Drew (whose son Larry Drew II will be a soph at UNC) raved about the two Carolina guys?

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs Before Slamball

    @chris, hes not underrated athleticlly, the fact that he can dunk during warm ups doesn’t mean hes a great athlete. Cuz even if you look at his dunks, he barely gets off the ground. So while he is mobile by “big white guy” standards, by nba level hes a average athlete, kinda like david lee or bj mullins. In high school both were considered freak athletes for white guys. IN college bj barely looked average against more athletic guys and Lee is just a ok athlete with a hustle player motor, like tyler.

    I still say he goes late first round to a good team like portland. If he goes earlier than 20 it just shows how weak this draft is. Hes got a low ceiling as a glorified garbage man. he’ll help a team ala a shorter gortat but hes not a team changer.

  • http://nerditry.com nerditry

    Cubes should expand his ban to include people like Vecsey and other print writers who present ridiculous trade and draft rumours. There’s no difference to me if a blogger creates his own scenario and posts it as being legit and someone being used as a GM or agent’s mouthpiece to confuse and obfuscate.


    I always thought he was a sleeper pick

  • dk

    picking a white guy has got to bet the dumbest fucking move in the world. Yeah, Joe Alexander, beast, riggght. Nash was already a great player, same with Dirk. You can tell. Tyler, lmao, rigggght…

  • Kudabeen


    Good catch.

    I’m not surprise. If your an Average athlete by NBA standards what’s wrong with that? Some people play using mental and fundamental talents others use specific skills and athleticism. I think Tyler has a great mix of that along with the elusive Energy characteristic that many players need to chastised to do. Charlotte wouldn’t surprise me if they picked him up.


    Wow, the slow minded thinking continues on this site. smh.. Didnt realize race played a factor in a draft. this kid has a great motor, and a little above average athletic ability, under the right system he will be a beast.. Let jerry sloan get a hold of him and watch what would happen. Bj mullins average athelete? LMAO i watched the kid shit all over everybody at rucker park 7 footer crossing up people and dunking with ease.

  • Mike

    I am not a Hansbrough fan – BUT I will say he can be a great contributor off the bench for nearly any team in the league. Is he going to lead a team into the playoffs? No. But any coach in the league would love to have his energy and passion come off the bench for 15 minutes a night.

    I would love to see him slip all the way to the end of the 1st round and have the Lakers grab him. We could use some toughness like that…

  • Diego

    @ post 6: David Lee is a great athlete, period. Just an ok athlete? WTF! Are you nuts–or just not too bright? He won the McDonalds’ HS dunk contest, and gets at least half his points on dunks (and he’s a small pf).

    Lee actually didn’t do a whole lot at UF, but the NBA game suits him much better–because of his ATHLETICISM (and, I admit, motor).

    Also, go back and look at how Tyler just did in the combines, by the way.

    Believe it or not, some white guys can JUMP.

  • Drink the Haterade

    HE’s actually a smart kid and has hustle…

  • haslem

    Tylers been proving doubters wrong his whole life, can’t help but root for him.

  • lifep

    If he was black, he’d be top 10…say I’m wrong!!! Say I’m wrong!!!!

    Go Tyler!!

  • Maynard

    It will be interesting to see how his game translates to the league if he doesn’t get the bucketloads of free throws that resulted in an NCAA record. At least they don’t call travels in the NBA either. Regardless, Tyler will still get treated like Wade up there with the calls, right? Right?


    No if he was black he be a real baller (lol), I kid, I kid. Chill out everybody.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    I think Tyler will be better than people expect. The guy can flat out score anywhere around the basket with an array of moves that he doesn’t even use strength or height to pull off. Not to mention he can step out and shoot it maybe 15 feet and in and runs the court like a gazelle. The only place I see him having problems is on the defensive end. Trying to guard the likes of a Garnett or Amare. But I would like to see him go to a more veteran team like San Antonio, Denver, Dallas, or Boston meaning he would go late first round anyway.

  • Bron aka Had Springs before Slamball

    @WINDYCITYBULL,I hope your not talking about me considering my whole job with nba teams is strength and conditioning, so I have a pretty good gauge on whats athletic. Race places a factor in everything, if you don’t think so than your slow minded. And did i say because hes white he sucks? no BUT athletic wise, theres a huge difference between the scale black guys are expected to be on and white guys are. I agree, in the right system tyler will be in the nba for 10 years just bein a garbage man. Is he gonna be a huge game changing star? no, but would I love to have him on orlando coming off the bench pissing people off by running and pushin them all over the place? ya. As for BJ “never proved anything” mullins. HEs a average athlete. O wow, hes 7’0 and can dunk…big f’n deal. Is he AMARE? Is he dwight? Is he a young kenyon martin or KG? Hes not even a chris bosh type athlete. Hence the race playing a factor. Is he more athletic than roy hibbert? ya easily, but hes not some freak athlete. On a basis of athletic ability alone hes MAYBE chris andersan, who is a decent athlete but nothing amazing if we all remember the dunk contest. So just cuz you saw him playin durin the elite26 or whatever at the rucker against other high school kids and dunking on fast breaks in a game that showed NOOOO D, does not mean hes gonna turn into tom chambers.

    @Deigo, Um david lee won BECAUSE he was white in the mcdonalds dunk contest. James white should of beat him but lee got white boy points. Its kinda like when candace parker won it. She won cuz she was a chick dunkin against guys, not because she was 360in or anything special. Lee won simply because no one though he’d be able to do ANYTHING. But hey, maybe taking your shirt off and reversing a basic lob when your 6’8 is really harder than foul line with 2 hands on your side of the world. And you say most of lees points in the NBA are dunks? ya, basic 2 handers. AGAIN WHEN YOUR OVER 6’2, thats NOT HARD. HEnce average athlete. You talk like lee is coming down and windmillin on people. Hell Mike petrius does it. Maxiell is a better in game dunker than lee. Lee only stands out cuz his motor and hes on a bad knicks team with no real stars. And the NBA suits him cuz hes a role player. At florida he was expected to be a stud. Hes got a motor, hes aggressive and so does tyler, hence my comparison.

    p.s: I was at the combine in chicago when he was doin all the drills and if you heard, people were sayin how awkward and robotic he looked during the agility drills and things like that. Theres a difference between doin a drill and doin the drill fluidly. Compare his stats and griffins, if you just look their actually close, but on the court we all kno hes not even close to the athlete blake is. Can’t just look at the numbers, thats why we call them workout wonders.

    @lifep, I think your wrong cuz white or black, his style doesn’t really translate well in the NBA as a top guy. He will get garbage buckets and rebounds but hes not gonna dominate anyone. He doesn’t have a good handle or jumpshot or post moves. His hustle and the fact he doesn’t seem to be scared of anyone are his biggest asset. But the fact is, if blake griffin and most athletic college guys eat him up, how do you think he will do against the amares/rashards of the NBA?

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    I don’t see why everybody has a problem going late first rd anyway. I mean once you get out the lottery which is garaunteed money you should start hoping you get picked last because you end up on the best team. Even if you don’t get as much playing time at least you get a chance to bandwagon for a ring ala Leon Powe.

  • Bron aka Had Springs before Slamball

    powe even went second round…to most people goin late just sucks cuz less money but its also less pressure

  • Diego

    @ Bron: Yeah, Lee is an average athlete/NBA player. And he was a McDonalds’ All American because? And he dominated the rookie/soph NBA game because?

    Don’t compare him to that ridiculous Candace Parker fiasco.

    Lee and James White played their frosh year at Florida by the way, but I guess Billy D. just wanted Lee because he was a hustling, average-athlete white guy. (And at this stage, hasn’t James White pretty much become irrelevant in the world of the NBA?) Well, in any event, Lee was last guy taken in first round and has managed to hang in there. So I suggest someone take Tyler too–heck he is an even more average-athlete and more of a hustler than Lee! And a poorer dunker!

  • yoda

    I’ll take hustle guy who’s average athletic rather then some freak with tons of muscles and working habits of eddy curry or someone like that. i never had chance to watch him, only read about him, but championship teams or those teams who want to be champs always had some hustle player. after all, charles oakly wasn’t that skilled guy (i’m not comparing, just making my point) but he was hustle player.

  • Bron aka Had Springs before Slamball

    @Diego, dude what are you talkin about? your bitching about stuff i didn’t even mention lol. I never said lee or tyler sucked. Lee was a mcdonalds all american cuz he was good in high school, when did i ever question that or see he wasn’t? And last I checked, when he “dominanted” the rook soph game, he wasn’t peppering them with an amazing offese of 3s and mid range pulls, he was catchin alleys and laying it up. Your makin it sound like lee is a young kobe when hes merely a workhorse. A white paul milsap if you must. And even paul milsap led the NCAA in rebounding 3 straight years in a row. And you still havn’t changed anything, were talkin about him dunkin, not his high school stats idiot. And him winning the dunk contest which you stated was just as pathetic as the candace parker fiasco. EVERY dunk white did was miles better than lee. But no one expected lee to be able to do anything just like the white guys who had come before him. I mean seriously kid, you talk like your enlightenin me but tell me something I don’t know. YA lee and white went to fl together, and that team didn’t do shit. White bounced and went to cinnci and lee didnt do shit. They actually won right after he left. And billy D, wanted lee because he was nice in high school, again, what does this have to do with him being a athlete? Has lee had a better nba career than white? ya, cuz white never developed since 10th grade. Hes always just been a dunker with no work ethic. When did we start comparing these two? Your arguin like either a idiot or just a straight confused homer. Your one step away from quoting lees aau stats. The point is, you can be the shit in college, and not amount to anything in the nba. black white yellow, its been proven. Your skillset has to translate. No one is takin guys like lee or milsap in lotto because their not game changes, they don’t have high ceilings etc..Same with tyler. Could they HELP a team? ya but your not wastin a high pick on ronnie turiaff. Tyler was “a star” in college, but when he went against bigger guys or athletic guys (like griffin) they shitted on him. Same with lee. So in the nba where everyone he is guarding will be like that, what makes you think he’ll be more than a 7th man role player? Not to mention, he was on a stacked UNC team where guys couldnt just guard him straight up. JJ reddick was more well rounded than tyler and he couldn’t even get off the bench till this year. Look at adam morrison? He was the man in college, Tyler coppenrath from vanderbilt? All were ok athletes by college standards but in the nba, the more athletic guys were able to make up for it. Your talking like david lee is tim duncan when hes not even al jefferson. So stop typin just to type.

    @yoda, I agree with you. But my point is, you don’t build AROUND hustle players. Which is why none of these average role players diego is hypin usually aren’t high pics. With a high pic you shoot for the stars with and try to get a team changer. Theres a huge hit or miss risk there but thats what you do. Like i said, I’d want tyler on my team, if i already had a good team like orlando, celtics, lakers, spurs,portland, hornets etc..But if i was a crap ass team would i draft him? hell no, cuz hes just gonna be a hustle guy I can’t run a play for. How many plays do you think the bulls or knicks ran just for oakly? no, he was there to complement the stars. Not to be one. Almost no one sees him developing into a star. At best his ceiling would be david lee, who for most of his career was average/surprise and his only really good season was under d’antoni system which raises everyones offensive stats specially rebounders since they take so many shots. Dwight would average 30 rebounds in seven seconds or less. But you are right…would i take a average hustle guys over an slightly above average guy with no work ethic? ya…would i take a hustle guy over a superstar? hell no.

  • Diego

    Relax, Bron. You could make much better–and more accurate–points if you were more concise with your arguments. (And short paragraphs are easier to read also.)

  • Bron aka Had Springs before Slamball

    ya but since i’m around the sport so much, when people say inaccurate stuff, it sends me in a rant lol….Plus i respond to multiple people at once. My initial post was short and like 5 people commented as if I just talked bad about larry bird. Its not really a big deal to me. Like i said, i hope tyler ends up on orlando or miami and know personally hes a cool guy but I’m not gonna sell him for more than he is.

  • Diego

    I am not trying to sell Lee or Hansborough as superstars (or really stars), and I don’t know how Hansborough will turn out. (I see Hansborough’s upside perhaps as a Kurt Rambis type who could benefit a lot of upper tier teams. (I am no kid, so I saw Rambis play plenty–very similar to Hansborough.)) But taking Hansborough in the mid-first round I don’t think would exactly be a bone-headed 5th pick of Candace Parker’s hubby.

    But Lee has been a surprise in the NBA to me, after a somewhat disappointing college career, and while his stats have benefited from d’antoni, he was looking alright the 2 years before that too. (I think the NBA is a lot about being in the right place at the right time. Yes, Lee is only guy going for boards for weak fast-paced N.Y. team, but most teams basically have their so-to-speak designated board guy, whose stats benefit from that role.)

  • http://edthesportsfan.com SoulOnIce

    The draft is what it is: teams draft for home-run talent/sure thing with the first picks (see TD, Iverson, Bron, Dwight Howard), and yes, we’ve seen some duds (Olowokandi, Kwame Brown), but like Bron said, they try to go for it all in the beginning, even if it’s because of the DREADED WORD: POTENTIAL.

    Personally, I like the middle round on much more, because then that’s where you can see a big difference as well. That’s why I think this draft is gonna be WAY BETTER than people give it credit for. There are too many “what ifs” for my liking at the top, but in the middle, the talent-team needs is more accurate.

  • doc

    Im like Bron on this one.He a nice dude to have come off the bench and hustle and get under people skin for 10 years but all that greatest ball player ever shit is a wrap.They was putting him on MJ status in North Carolina.


    He is a poor mans shane battier which means i expect him to average of about 5 points and 6 boards a night

  • the truth

    two words:

    Mark Madsen

  • jace

    i think tyler hansbrough is great. he’s not going to be an all-star (at least i dont think, but who knows really?), and he’s kinda accepted that. he just wants to win.. he wants to work his hardest.. and he’s got this KG type energy and motor about him. even if he’s not a starter (although he could definitely be a starter on some teams), he’s definitely a GREAT pick to be a role player.

    he’s got a high basketball IQ, he can shoot, and he’s the energy/hustle type of player. if thats not a good role player.. i dunno wut is. i think he should prolly go mid to late first round. i would actually like to see him go to the bulls with their late first round pick. dont kno if tyrus thomas is gonna stay anyway.. cuz he might want more than they afford.

    derrick rose fun to watch.. hes even MORE fun to watch when he’s fired up. and if joakim doesnt fire him up enough.. maybe joakim AND hansbrough could do that.

  • Curtis G

    First of all, not every team drafts based on potential. Secondly, there are a lot of lottery picks this year that have serious flaws once you get outside of Blake. Thirdly, the economy is not conducive anymore with blowing a lot of money on “could be’s” when there are a lot of “will be’s” (players whose games are easily translated to the NBA but don’t project to get much better than their college game) that will be available. With that said, I think players like Tyler and Lawson will either go higher than was projected (because you know what you are going to get from them, the will be’s, and you know what role they will fill) or they will be traded for players that were picked higher, or they will be picked high and traded to contenders that are notably missing such payers or are in danger of losing that type of player (San Antonio or Utah anyone?). As Varejao, Pietrus, Ariza, Scola, and a host of others have proven this year in the playoffs, a team simply can’t win without that high energy/glue guy in the lineup. Sometimes they are starters (like Scola and Varejao) but most times they are 6th or 7th men. Regardless of where they are in the rotation, they are priceless and no contender is going to win without one. Combine that with the fact that this year, so few of the top prospects are sure bets, teams are going to be unwilling to overpay for a bust; they will more readily live with overpaying for Shane Battier or Emeka Okafor than for a player that may not contribute anything. Maybe they would have a few years ago, but the financial climate in the NBA and America as a whole has changed so much that money simply cannot be wasted like that. And a lot of teams are going to learn the hard way not to make those kind of deals at draft time for those types of players when they won’t be able to compete in next summer’s free agent frenzy which, no doubt, is fresh in the back of every GM’s mind right now. All that makes the climate ripe for a lot of first round dealing with contenders mostly pushing the envelope. The Memphis’s and the Charlotte’s of the league will be the big beneficiaries of this draft one way or the other and you can count on that!

  • AB_40

    he’s gonna be the nba’s new poster boy EVERYBODY is gonna want to dunk on him he has KG’s big mouth but nog game to back it up haha. this draft sucks doesn’t it.