Kirk Hinrich for Caron Butler?

John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Bulls may be interested in swapping Kirk Hinrich for Caron Butler:

“Rumors were circulating Sunday that the Washington Wizards, in an attempt to shake things up, are shopping swingman Caron Butler, with the Bulls and the Miami Heat being the likely trading partners. From the Bulls, the Wizards reportedly would seek guard Kirk Hinrich to provide some stability. The rumors also had the expiring contracts of Jerome James and Mike James being included, although the contracts of Butler ($9.78 million) and Hinrich ($9.5 million) are close enough to do the deal straight up.”

Isn’t it funny how almost every trade rumor involving the Bulls centers around Captain Kirk? It’s as though every team in the league wants a shot at Hinrich while the Bulls apparently want nothing more than to be rid of his contract. Forget the fact that when the Bulls are playing well, he’s usually a big part of the reason why. It’s always Hinrich to the Blazers or Hinrich to the Clippers or Hinrich to the Jazz or Hinrich to the Nuggets or Hinrich to the Timberwolves or Hinrich to [Team X]. Well, at least Kirk should feel wanted. Outside of Chicago anyway.

Jackson continued: “Is this a deal that makes sense for the Bulls? Probably. Although Hinrich can play both guard positions and Butler is more of a small forward, Butler can play shooting guard and split minutes with John Salmons. Jannero Pargo and Mike James could play point guard for the few minutes that Derrick Rose is out of the game.”

Eh…I’m always wary of bringing in a new player and immediately asking him play out of position. It also seems that while some players can move from SG to SF, the transition from SF to SG tends to be a little rocky. Just ask John Salmons, who was moved back to the two spot when Luol Deng returned and then promptly forgot how to shoot the basketball. On the other hand, Butler can put up 20 PPG when healthy — note that Caron has missed at least 15 games in each of the last three seasons — and the Bulls (as everyone knows) could certainly use the scoring help.

Of course, Butler isn’t an inside scoring threat nor is he a high-percentage three-point shooter (currently 30.0 percent and only 31.5 percent for his career). Which begs the question: what does he have to offer that the Bulls don’t already have? I mean, 72 percent of his field goal attempts are jump shots. Chicago already has two players in that mold.

I also don’t feel very confident with Jannero Pargo and Mike James as the team’s backcourt relief corps. Pargo is more of a shooter/scorer/spark-plug off the bench (even if Vinny Del Negro has apparently forgotten Jannero was signed last summer), and Mike James is, well, Mike James. There’s a reason he’s played for nine different teams in his nine-year career.

One last important tidbit from Jackson’s report: “Another factor is Butler has just one year remaining on his contract following this season, while Hinrich has two years left. That could an important factor moving forward as the Bulls try to re-sign Rose and center Joakim Noah.”

So while Butler and Hinrich have comparable contracts, Caron’s deal expires a year earlier than Kirk’s. Remember: Jerry Reinsdorf runs the Bulls as though every penny saved just might save the lives of his friends and loved ones…so a deal like this could go through regardless of whether it makes the Bulls a better team.

This trade is exactly what you’d call “close to happening,” but you never know. With all of Chicago’s expiring contracts, this won’t be the last trade rumor the Bulls are involved in before the February trade deadline.


28 Responses to Kirk Hinrich for Caron Butler?

  1. Bass January 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    There is two reason this deal stinks, one Caron’s natural position is small forward, we have Deng and Salmon. Second if Caron Butler contract ended this year, it would make sense to deal with a over crowded team full of small forwards trying to play shooting guard, but seeing that his contract doesn’t end this year really don’t help us with signing a big time superstar. If I was Jerry I would hold onto Kirk until some expiring contracts are offered for him.

  2. PTFC January 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    I personally would not make this trade. If you really sit back and think about it the Bulls have had injuries and the toughest schedule in the first 2 months. They finally get guys healthy, finally start playing some home games and now they are winning and getting their confidence up. This is no coincidence. The team is healthy now and have finally geled. To break up the team chemistry now and get rid of a solid back up PG and the best defensive non-big man the Bulls have would not be smart. The Bulls are finally playing well scoring 100+ points and beating an elite team like the Magic, so it seems the squad the Bulls have now is pretty adequate. Is the Butler really going to come in and take the Bulls to the “next level”? No, he wont. He might make the team worse by ruining the newly found team chemistry and playing out of position.

    Alex January 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Better idea- Hinrich to Wizards, Butler to Kings, Martin to Bulls. The Kings have proven to be better when Tyreke dominates the ball than when Kevin dominates the ball, and it would give the bulls a really talented true shooting guard. Not an undersized combo guard, not an oversized swingman, but for once we would actually have a legit 2-guard, and one who actually shoots the three well. Martins contract is about the same amount as Kirk and Carons, so this could potentially happen. Caron has served as a complementary player his whole career, and would give the kings a proven veteran, while Washington still ends up with Kirk

  4. nick January 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    i would tradefor t – mac and sign him to a small 2 – 3 year deal because he is the man and could obviously help with scoring at the 2 spot, then sign bosh to a big deal in the offseason, its the perfct situation. think about that starting five if it happened, (which it wont) rose, mcgrady, dend bosh and noah. hot damn

    Darell January 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    I concur, Alex. That is a trade that would be beneficial to all parties involved. I think all three players involved could use a change in scenery

  6. Mahmoud January 4, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    I third that proposition. It makes too much sense to happen, unfortunately.

    Matt McHale January 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    Alex — I love Martin’s game, especially the three-point shooting (40+ percent for the past three seasons) and his aggressive drives (which have earned him at least 7 FTA per game over the past four season).

    HOWEVER…his health is a major concern. He missed 21 games in 2007-08, 31 games in 2008-09, and he’s only suited up five times so far this season. Consider his contract (which maxes out at about $13 million per year in 2012-13) and versus floor time and I’m not sure he’s worth the risk. Who knows, maybe Martin will get healthy this season and never have another health problem over the course of a long and storied career.

    But after the catastropic effect Deng’s injuries have had on the team the last couple seasons, I’m not sure I’d what to take such an expensive chance on a guy who misses so much time.

    Matt McHale January 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    nick — I have the same reservations about T-Mac that I do about Kevin Martin. Maybe moreso. Plus, I sincerely doubt McGrady would accept a deal small enough to allow the Bulls to sign Bosh over the summer. It just doesn’t seem feasible.

    Beyond that, with the Bulls finally healthy playing well, I’d almost rather hold off on any moves until we determine exactly where they’re at as a team.

    Brad S. January 4, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    I agree Matt. Caron is a decent player, but I feel like there is a reason that these other teams have interest in Hinrich. My guess is not only his play, but because he is a stabilizing force on the team. Shooting comes and goes, but effort and practice and behaviour can be consistantly controlled. Is it any wonder that AI can’t find a home, and Gilbert has ruinned the Wizards??? It’s logical that the Wizards would want a guy like Kirk at this point. …And that is why he is important to this Bulls team as well. (It’s not like they are a team that is immune from running this train straight off the tracks!)

    IF the Bulls trade Hinrich, it must be for EXACTLY the right guy. This trade doesn’t feel like that to me. It seems like they are grasping at straws.

    Steve January 4, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    “Butler started at shooting guard for the Wizards Saturday night and responded with 24 points (10-of-21 FG, 3-for-5 3FG), six boards, an assist, a steal and a trey while playing 47 minutes.” From ESPN notes on Caron Bulter, Jan 3. While I’m not crazy about this trade either, those numbers indicate he has – and can -play the 2.

  11. Bass January 4, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Nick I like your idea for trading for McGrady, and Matt i dont see no team signing McGrady to no big deal, he hasnt been a proven winner in the playoffs and he is always hurt. It will be tough for McGrady to ask for a lot and get it. Worse case scenario his contract ends this year and depending on who the Bulls trade him for will free up enough money to spend for two superstars doing this off season.

    Mike_in_Shanghai January 4, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

    2010- Rose, Joe Johnson, Deng, Gibson/Thomas, Noah

    keep James Johnson and Heinrich use draft to find back ups at 2 and 5 and round out the rest of the bench with free agents.

    brian January 5, 2010 at 1:54 am #

    Plain and simple keep hinrich. The Bulls are starting to put wins together and you know what you get from Kirk. Stability, and hustle not to mention having a clue on the floor.

    felipe garcia January 5, 2010 at 4:38 am #

    I also agree with most of you guys, trading Kirk Hinrich for Caron Butler is not a great deal for the Bulls. This deal will only help improve the Washington Wizards a bit and I don’t trust Pargo or Mike James as the backup point guard for D. Rose. Plus Caron Butler is well know for playing the small forward and we already have J.J, Deng and Salmons playing for that spot already. If I was the Bulls GM, I would rather give them: John Salmons and Jerome James for Caron Butler, Earl Boykins & Fabricio Oberto. Then this would be a great deal for the Bulls but, knowing the Wizards organization, they are not that stupid and they will only make a deal involving Kirk Hinrich. In other words, don’t make this trade happen Bulls GM’s. Just take the offer from New York for Al Harrington by giving up: Tyrus Thomas and Jerome James. It is a no brainer deal: Al Harrington will provide the scoring that the Bulls need in late games, he can hit big three point shots which they also need, he can play solid Defense and his contract is up for next year if things don’t work. This is a prefect trade for the Bulls. Plus losing Tyrus Thomas it is not a big deal anymore because of Taj Gibson. He has shown us he can play at the same level has Tyrus Thomas on the Defensive end and take smart shots.

    mike killer January 5, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    I totally agree with Garcia, the bulls should only offer these players on their roster to other teams in a trade: Pargo, J.J, Tyrus Thomas, J. James, Brad Miller, Aaron Gray or John Salmons. As for: D. Rose, Kirk Hinrich, J. Noah, Taj Gibson, L. Deng and L. Hunter they should be untouchable restricted players.

    felipe garcia January 5, 2010 at 5:02 am #

    and take smarter shots over Tyrus Thomas.*

    dj January 5, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    I also agree with garcia, the Bulls should take the first offer that New York gave them for Al Harrington by giving up Tyrus Thomas and Jerome James instead of the Washington deal for Caron Butler and Mike James for Kirk Hinrich and Jerome James. At least if we lose Tyrus Thomas we have another good backup youngster like Taj Gibson that can replace his presents on defense and he takes smarter shoot then Tyrus Thomas at a high percentage. On the other hand, If we lose Kirk Hinrich we really don’t have another good backup point guard to help D. Rose. Pargo and Mike James play more of a small shooting guard position and they both don’t defend well like Hinrich and as for Linsey Hunter he is just to old already lol.

    andres Lopez January 5, 2010 at 5:56 am #

    Yah and then we should trade John Salmon, Kirk Hinrich with our 2nd round draft pick for Kevin Martin and Beno Udrih. Having our finial roster looking like this:
    PG: D. Rose
    SG: Kevin Martin
    SF: Al Harrington or L. Deng
    PF: L. Deng, Al Harrington or Taj Gibson
    C: J. Noah
    Al Harrington or Taj Gibson
    Beno Udrih
    Brad Miller
    L. Hunter
    J. Pargo
    Aaron Gray
    James Johnson

    andres Lopez January 5, 2010 at 6:05 am #

    and we will still have enough money for a max super star player like chris bosh to come to Chicago this summer because of Brad Miller $12,250,000 dollar contract is coming off the books, also Al Harrington $10,026,875 dollars are coming off the books, as well as for Pargo and Hunter money and some money we save up for not signing Ben Gordan.

    andres Lopez January 5, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    or to seal the deal we end up giving our 1st round draft pick and keep our 2nd round pick

    Mike_in_Shanghai January 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    I wouldn’t accuse Al Herrington of taking smarter shots than Thomas, he just has better range.

    Boppinbob January 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    It is my opinion that if the Bulls trade Captain Kirk then they have given up on the play-offs for 2010. He may not be the floor leader of the team but he is the heart of this team, he leads by example. No one on the team can replace his influence in that area.

    andres Lopez January 6, 2010 at 3:24 am #

    That is so true Boppinbob, I totally agree with your comment about Kirk Hinrich being the heart and soul of this team but, if you are getting a really good player in return that is younger and better then Hinrich you take that chance right away. Come on adding Kevin Martin and Beno Udril is a great move for the bulls, remember D. Rose is now the starting point guard and the center piece to the bulls new puzzle. He still needs a lot of help on the offensive end to provide him with more talented scorer that can draw double teams and to take some pressure off his back. Plus Hinrich is more of a starter not a backup point guard.

    andres Lopez January 6, 2010 at 3:50 am #

    and Beno Udril is a great backup point guard to D. Rose. Look If the Bulls don’t make any chances right away they are not going to make the playoffs again. And trust me, no free agent top super star will come to Chicago if they don’t have decent recorded, will good solid players or have a shot at winning a title.

    felipe garcia January 6, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    Yah, so your tell me Mike_in_Shanghai that you would rather keep Tyrus Thomas then to get a good scorer like Al Harrington? Are you crazy? the only reason why sometimes Al Harrington takes some bad shot is because of the Mike D’Antoni quick shooting system. I am pretty sure if he was playing with D. Rose he will start taking more smarter shoots and actually make them unlike Tyrus Thomas that thinks he is more a small forward then a Power Forward. Beside at least with Al Harrington he will space the floor, he can also play the 3, 4 and 5th spot like Tyrus Thomas, he can hit big shoots in late game and defense well 1 on 1.

  26. danny January 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    It makes no sense to trade Kirk Hinrich. If anyone needs to be traded, its John Salmons. He has not had a big game for Bulls the entire season. We need Hinirch for his defense, does anyone remember the job he did on Paul Pierce last year in the playoffs? The team should have stayed as Deng, Gordon, Rose, and Hinrich off the bench, but instead we have John Salmons who is not clutch at all. Get rid of Salmons and by no means is a scoring threat. I’ve been rooting for Chicago for some time now and it just hurts so much that they never make the right moves. If Chicago is willing to trade Hinrich then please get a big man that can score.

    quist January 7, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    if they trade for caron butler he would take minutes away from john salmons who has a player option this offseason, if salmons accepts the 6 mil a year player option the bulls may not have enough money to sign a max salary this offseason. but if salmons isnt playing why would he want to stay here. thus the 2011 bulls lineup:rose, wade(max salary, its gunna happen),dend/caron, tyrus thomas, noah. i think ithat looks like a pretty good squad

    mike killer January 8, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    No offense quist but, you actually think D. Wade is coming back to Chicago this year? hahaha trust me he is not! He is going to visit Chicago next year for sure on the road with Miami along with Bosh or Boozer.

    I think the best thing to do is to get solid players like garcia and andres mention already about getting Al Harrington, Kevin Martin, Beno Udril, David Lee, Rudy Gay and others. People lets face the facts that the bulls have a 10% chance of landing a top star player like: Chris Bosh, D. Wade, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire or LeBron James.

    The chances are these players will stay wHere their at and collect their big money contracts or they will sign with another team beside Chicago.

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