According to several sources, Kirk Hinrich has agreed to return to the Chicago Bulls.
Hinrich was traded back in the summer of 2010 to clear cap space. At the time I said that Hinrich would return to Chicago during the summer of 2012 and I’m glad that I can say I was right.
Reportedly he agreed to return on a two-year contract worth about three million each season.
So how does his return affect the team?
Well for starters it probably brings an end to the C.J. Watson era. Watson is due about $3.2 million this season with the addition of Hinrich and rookie Marquis Teague; it makes the depth chart a little crowded. The Bulls hold a team option and after his struggles in the playoffs it is not a surprise they have decided to replace him.
Secondly it provides coach Tom Thibodeau with a player that fits his system perfectly. Back in 2010 it seemed like a match made in heaven with Hinrich being on the roster and Thibodeau being the head coach. Hinrich is a tough nose defender, who can play at either guard spot. My only question is, is he ready to play 40 minutes a night?
I would expect him to start alongside Richard Hamilton and probably see time playing with Teague as well. If Luol Deng does miss time at the beginning of the season maybe we will even see some three-guard lineups as well.
Finally it gives the Bulls a good locker room guy who will be a solid fill-in while Derrick Rose is out with his torn ACL. When Rose returns, Hinrich will move into the role of first guard off the bench and probably do it very well.
While a lot of people may remember Hinrich misses big three-pointer during his past stint with the team, he is actually a pretty decent shooter from outside. For his career he shoot nearly 38 percent from three-point land, which is just slightly better then Watson.
The addition of Teague and Hinrich also means that fan favorite, John Lucas III, won’t return to the team. I wouldn’t completely rule out a return because if he doesn’t receive an offer from another team he could accept a minimum contract or maybe a non-guaranteed deal from the Bulls.
Overall it might not be a flashy move like signing Ray Allen (Miami) or Jason Terry (Boston) but the addition of Hinrich is a good one and it will help this team.
What do you think Bulls fans? Are you happy to have Captain Kirk back? Sound off below.