Sekou Smith of the Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote:
The reviews were unanimous.
On 10-point scale, Tyler Hansbrough’s Sunday morning workout for the Hawks at Philips Arena ranks at the very top of anything conducted in the past five days.
It wasn’t any one thing in particular that had the Hawks’ coaches buzzing. It was everything. Hansbrough’s energy, effort and obviously better-than-advertised shooting and athleticism caught more than a few folks in attendance by surprise.
“He kicked the meter up. It was off the Richter Scale,” said Hawks assistant coach Larry Drew, who ran the team’s workouts all week. “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.”
I felt like I needed an ice bath after watching his 90-minute workout. But Hansbrough proved a theory that a wise Eastern Conference executive reiterated to me Sunday night, “effort is a skill in the NBA.” And Hansbrough has it in reserve.
Alade Aminu (Stephenson High and Georgia Tech) and Shawn Taggart (Memphis) were the other bigs on hand Sunday. And they were also impressive in the individual drills and two-on-two work that was done. But Hansbrough’s refusal to go at anything but full bore during the entire workout had everyone buzzing afterwards.
Love him or hate him, and Hansbrough laughed about the fact that he’s inspired the masses to do either one or the other and sometimes both, he’s going to do it his way. And the truth is the Hawks could do a lot worse with the 19th pick. But they probably won’t have to worry about Hansbrough there, as I haven’t spoken to anyone anywhere that believes he’ll still be on the board when the Hawks are on the clock Thursday night.
“If this kid is still there at 19, the Hawks better not hesitate,” another Eastern Conference executive told me Sunday afternoon. “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.”
That’s the real problem with a pick that late. You can project who you think might be there and evaluate accordingly, but there’s no way of knowing who will be around by then on draft night. One glitch on the draft board in the early lottery can swing the draft in a totally different direction than projected.