Tyler Hansbrough’s decision to stay in school next year is bad news for him and for my favorite team, the Golden State Warriors. Here’s why:
First, Hansbrough can only hurt his stock by remaining in school: we already know exactly what kind of player he is, and he just won NCAA Player of the Year. All he can do is repeat these achievements, there’s no better personal accomplishment. Winning the NCAA title won’t make teams value him any higher than today, because he is such a straightforward player (though this can often happen with other, less well known players). He’ll be a hustle rebounder and a nasty interior player who likely won’t be a starter until until he can develop a reliable midrange game. He’s that this year and he’ll be that next year.
If Hansbrough was to come out, many projections had him going in the late first round. Danny’s Mock Draft (not his latest, this one was done before rumors of Hansbrough’s return had spread) had T-Hands going to the Warriors with the 19th pick, and I think that was a great spot for him. The Warriors are in desperate need ot rebounding, energy, and inside scoring, and Hansbrough is a player who would have instantly been able to contribute 10 minutes off the bench.
His return to UNC removes one good possibility for the Warriors, who will be cash-strapped and must immediately improve their team through the draft if they plan to make the playoffs. Its just as important to note that Hansbrough runs the risk of getting hurt or having some as yet unknown flaw exposed, which could derail his chances in a manner similar to Roy Hibbert’s recent fall from grace.
I am a big fan of the bird in the hand being worth more than two in the bush. When it comes to your future livelihood, its best to play it safe and jump to the NBA when you know you’ll make it. I don’t foresee him falling out of the first round next year, but unfortunately its always possible, and its a risk that I wouldn’t be comfortable taking.