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KIRK HINRICH RETURNS TO THE BULLS AFTER TWO YEARS
Wed, 11 Jul 2012 02:56 AM EDT

Free-agent point guard Kirk Hinrich has verbally concluded to a 2 year agreement with the Chicago Bulls, according to a league source.

Hinrich, who was chosen by the Chicago Bulls in the 1st round of the 2003 draft, gives them the kind of combo guard they were looking for this offseason. While he can’t officially sign until the breather, the deal is said to be of approximately around $3 million each year.

Hinrich, who was traded by the Bulls to the Washington Wizards 2 summers back in order to clear cap space for free agents, maintains a home in the Chicago land area and admitted he was stunned he was dealt the following season. His return to Chicago will be a welcome one for teammates who enjoyed his presence both on the floor and in the locker room.

“Kirk is a phenomenal player,” Bulls forward Taj Gibson related. He was a phenomenal leader. He was one of those tough-minded players that don’t truly care about much (besides) getting wins, and it might be superb to have Kirky back on our team.

“But at the exact same time you need to glance at the facet of it’s the NBA, it is a business in total and I’m hoping they can get it done because I know Kirk is a good player and it might help our team out quite a lot, particularly now in this season without Derrick (Rose).”

Although he did not ensure the agreement, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau also praised Hinrich.

“He’s an experienced guy,” Thibodeau claimed. “He’s played extraordinarily well for all of the teams that he’s been with and he brings a lot in terms of veteran experience.”

While the Chicago Bulls still may add another guard, Hinrich has a solid prospect of coming into coaching camp as the starter with Rose out. The Bulls also drafted point guard Marquis Teague, who is just 19-year-old, with their 1st-round selection last month.

Rose, who is getting over ACL surgery, isn’t predicted to return until Jan., at the earliest. Basketball spreads

The Chicago Bulls must now decide if they want to match the 3-year offer sheet the Rockets gave Omer Asik last week. The contract, which is expected to be around $25 million, including nearly a $15 million cap hit in the final year, would be tricky for the Bulls to swallow. But Bulls GM Gar Forman frequently has claimed that he’d like to keep Asik.

What Hinrich’s arrival means in the near term is that the Chicago Bulls likely will decline to match C.J. Watson’s team option for $3.2 million, Watson was ineffective in the postseason and struggled with injuries down the stretch after playing solidly in the place of Rose for much of the year.

The Chicago Bulls also must decide whether to bring back Kyle Korver or Ronnie Brewer. Both players have contracts that are not totally guaranteed. Korver, a vet sharpshooter, is the safer bet to return, but his status remains in flux as the Bulls work out exactly the way in which the numbers get crunched.


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