The Bulls, this past Sunday, agreed to terms with veteran guard, Kirk Hinrich, on a two-year, $5.6 million contract. He averaged 9.1 points and 3.9 assists in 73 games last season after taking over the starting point guard job from Derrick Rose after Rose was injured with a torn meniscus ten games into the season. He is one of Coach, Tom Thibodeau’s favorites, because of his tough defense, his ability to run the offense, and his veteran leadership.
He was drafted by the team in the 2003 NBA draft with the seventh overall pick after helping to lead Kansas to the NCAA Men’s championship game. The Bulls needed a point guard at the time since Jay Williams had been severely injured in a motorcycle accident after his rookie season. He played for the team for the first seven seasons of his career, and helped lead them to the playoffs in five of those seasons. Then the Bulls on June 24, 2010, traded him to the Washington Wizards, and their 17th pick in the draft that year for a future 2nd-round pick. The move was made to clear cap space to afford a big free agent like Lebron James. Then on February 23, 2011, he was traded again to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans, and a first-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Atlanta made the playoffs that year, but Hinrich injured his hamstring and missed the 2nd round against his former team, the Bulls. He played one more season for the Hawks then became a free agent.
The Bulls had lost Rose to a torn ACL in the opening game of the playoffs in 2012 and heading into the off-season, they were looking for a guy to start in his place and more or less keep his starting spot warm until he came back. That guy turned out to be Hinrich, who signed a 2-year deal. He had various injuries throughout the season just like in seasons past but helped lead them to the playoffs once again where they lost in the 2nd round to the Miami Heat after advancing against the Brooklyn Nets. This past season, he had a much healthier year and again helped lead the team to the playoffs, but they lost in the 1st round to the Wizards.
The Bulls had a tough decision to make this off-season, choosing to re-sign either Hinrich, or veteran D.J. Augustine to back up Rose. They let Augustine go, and he signed with the rival Detroit Pistons. With all due respect to Augustine, this examiner thinks they made the right choice.