It has been finalized now that the Bulls are moving guard Kirk Hinrich, along with the 17th pick in tonight's draft, to the Washington Wizards in an obvious move to free up cap space. The move allows the Bulls to potentially land two big name free agents like Lebron and one of three all-star big men, either Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and David Lee.
In his seven years with the team "Captain Kirk" was a fan favorite and gave everything he had night-in and night-out. He hustled, was a consistent shooter and a great defensive player. He wasn't flashy. Rather, he did all the things that nobody recognized.He did the small things. It's a shame that fundamentals and hinrich's style of play are no longer appreciated in the NBA. Nobody can really say the don't like Hinrich because he was never in the spotlight. He was always under the radar just doing his own thing. But at the same time, he was always a key asset for the team that improved every year since Kirk's '03 rookie season when he was drafted 7th behind the likes of Lebron, Carmello Anthony and several others. Chicago Bulls blogger Sam Smith did a piece this past winter on Hinrich and how he was the catalyst behind the team's success. Every notable offensive category was higher when he was the lineup, and their record was in the ballpark of 18-5 when he started up until that point in the season. He was a team player which in this era of the NBA is sometimes hard to find.
What an offseason so far as a fan. My favorite team trades away my favorite player, and are the front-runners to sign my least favorite professional athlete. Despite my personal preference, John Paxson and Jerry Reinsdorf did what they had to do. Ridding Hinrich's 9 million dollar salary put them in prime contention for landing two top name free agents. Where they'll go from here, no one really knows. But the first step is tonight @ 7:30 (exactly nine minutes ago).
For me personally, the lasting "Hinrich Memory" I'll have is the first round of the '08 playoffs. Rajon Rondo gave Hinrich a shove on a fast-break knocking him hard to the floor, and Kirk shot up and took sprint in revenge of the dirty play. The whole team on the floor was holding him back as his arms and legs flapped around struggling to take revenge. But the best part was Scott Skiles on the sidelines, grinning and looking at the rest of the bench like, "wow, did you guys ever see this coming?" Hinrich had never shown too much emotion or anger on the court, and the fiery-ness sort of surprised everyone.
SOURCES: BULLS TO FREE UP CAP SPACE -ESPNchicago
BYE-BYE KIRK? HELLO LEBRON? -chicagobulls.com bulls blogger Sam Smith