Remember when Kirk Hinrich averaged at least 15.7 points and 6.3 steals per game in three straight seasons for the Bulls several years ago?
If you remember that Hinrich now, you may forget him when you watch a 30-year-old Hinrich suit up for the Bulls this November.
Three years have passed since Hinrich played in more than 48 games in a season. He hasn't played in more than 75 since 2006-07. That season, he averaged a career-best 16.6 points per game; he hasn't topped 11.5 points per game since and averaged a career-low 6.6 points per game for Atlanta last season. It's difficult to know what Hinrich can be at this point; a key player on a contender is a stretch.
With all of that said, I'm fine with his return. The price is right. He'll reportedly sign a two-year, $6-million deal with Chicago on Wednesday. It's not a huge savings over the $3.7 million option the Bulls have on C.J. Watson, but Hinrich probably has a higher ceiling, even now, than Watson. Should Hinrich stay healthy, he should be able to help keep Derrick Rose's seat warm.
But this is really a fairly minor move for the Bulls. Of much greater consequence is what the Bulls do with Omer Asik. They can either match the three-year, $25-million offer sheet Asik signed with Houston or let their backup center walk. I think it's just too much money and would let him go personally, but Asik's interior defense is something they will badly struggle to replace, so it wouldn't shock me if they pony up.