Mad Ants claim forward Tyler Hansbrough

Tyler Hansbrough is once again part of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. Their first-round pick in 2009, drafted 13th overall, Hansbrough signed a D-League contract in late February.

On Wednesday, the Mad Ants, who have been owned by Herb Simon since 2015, acquired the 31-year-old by claiming him off waivers.

Hansbrough may help fill a void left after the Dallas Mavericks called up rookie Ben Bentil.

The 6-foot-9 forward, commonly referred to as “Gucci” in the locker room by teammates, spent his first four seasons in the NBA with the Pacers. The 2010-11 season, his second year in the league, was his best statisically. He averaged 11 points and 5.2 rebounds playing almost 22 minutes per game.

How long ago does that seem? Well, Paul George is the only Pacer still on the roster from that 2012-13 team that lost to Miami in seven games of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Once Hansbrough’s rookie contract expired in 2013, he joined Toronto in free agency. Last season (2015-16), the University of North Carolina product played two hours south west of Chapel Hill in Charlotte with the Hornets. His role was limited, however, to less than eight minutes per game.

Hansbrough did not sign with a team in free agency and has yet to play in a game this season.

[Herb Simon, Jim Morris, Larry Bird comment on acquiring Mad Ants franchise]

The 20-15 Mad Ants host the Westchester Knicks to Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne on Friday.

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