The endless speculation about Kirk Hinrich

Based on the number of Kirk Hinrich trade rumors and the frequency with which various experts and unnamed sources confirm Chicago management’s desire to dump Hinrich’s cap-killing contract, you’d think the Bulls were trying desperately to escape a pact with some dark power. Did Jerry Reinsdorf lose a fiddle match with the devil? That’s what it feels like.

It wasn’t always like this. When Captain Kirk signed a five year, $47.5 million dollar contract extension back in November of 2006, this is what John Paxson had to say about it: “Kirk Hinrich is imperative to the foundation of our organization and we are extremely pleased to have him with us long term. We are attempting to build a team based on character and commitment and these are both traits that Kirk possesses at a very high level. This is a very good day for the Chicago Bulls organization.”

And the Bulls have been trying to trade him ever since.

The latest “rumor” is more along the lines of idle speculation. From the ESPN NBA Rumors page:

“There’s been rumblings of Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas and a draft pick to the Raptors for Chris Bosh, though that doesn’t seem likely at the moment. A package of Thomas and Hinrich could also work in Portland: The Blazers have expressed interest in Hinrich in the past, and Thomas could help shore up their frontcourt depth, which is lacking with Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla out for the season. But what about Boston? On The B.S. Report today, ESPN’s Bill Simmons throws out a potential trade of Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, another expiring contract and a future first-round pick or cash for Hinrich. ‘You now have the third guard that you basically haven’t had for the last three years,’ Simmons said. It’s an interesting proposition, and could free up enough money for the Bulls to allow them to go after Chris Bosh and LeBron James this summer.”

Sounds geat, doesn’t it? Especially that “the Bulls could sign Chris Bosh and LeBron James next summer” part. And the Celtics could certainly use depth in the backcourt…and Captain Kirk would definitely fit in with their defense-first mission statement. Patrick Cassidy of Dime Magazine called it “the trade the Boston Celtics need to make today.”

Too bad it’s never going to happen.

Boston wouldn’t want to part with the money — Kirk is still owed $17 million for the next two seasons — and I haven’t heard any convincing evidence the Bulls will land Bosh let alone get a shot at LeBron.

But hey, it’s fun to theorize.

Update! Another impossible trade scenario: Kirk and Tyrus Thomas for Andre Miller and Player To Be Named Later. Miller has two years and $14 million left in his deal…and the Bulls don’t want to bring in another comparable salary. Not to mention the fact that Miller sees himself as a starting PG but would be a backup in Chicago (unless Vinny decided to start him at shooting guard). If the Bulls do manage to trade Hinrich, it’s going to be for one or more expiring contracts.

Bonus fun: Here’s a list of the top 10 all-time Kirk Hinrich trade rumors.

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45 Responses to The endless speculation about Kirk Hinrich

    your friendly BullsBlogger January 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Is this supposed to be sympathetic to Hinrich? The same case can be easily made that the Bulls have been desperately (and irrationally) holding onto him for years.

    bullsfandom January 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    why is it so far fetched to think Lebron may come here? We have more talent than the knicks, our money is just as good as theirs is, and with us riding out the year with Vinny he could potentially hire his own coach. So whats the problem?

  3. chris January 14, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    captin kirk is a very good player but he can’t be making that kind of money to share mins it’s the case of the very good player losing his job to Great Player

    Matt McHale January 14, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    “Is this supposed to be sympathetic to Hinrich? The same case can be easily made that the Bulls have been desperately (and irrationally) holding onto him for years.”

    Sadly, my heart isn’t big enough to feel much in the way of sympathy for somebody who fleeced the Bulls out of nearly $50 million. Not that the Bulls have anyone to blame but themselves.

    I just find it amusing that the Bulls were so freaking stoked to lock Captain Kirk in for five years and then, by all accounts, were bitten in the butt by one of history’s best examples of buyer’s remorse.

    I find it even funnier that they have appeared to be shopping Hinrich to every team in the NBA for years but haven’t pulled the trigger on any deal that would move him. Of course, I don’t have all the information the Bulls’ front office has, so I can only guess at what they have and have not been offered, or what they may or may not be planning…other than letting this season be a sacrificial lamb in hopes of nabbing a big-namer next summer.

    “why is it so far fetched to think Lebron may come here? We have more talent than the knicks, our money is just as good as theirs is, and with us riding out the year with Vinny he could potentially hire his own coach. So whats the problem?”

    LeBron has never to my knowledge shown a single shred of interest in playing in Chicago. We all know Cleveland can offer him the biggest contract. We all know he loves New York. We all know he’d like to play with another superstar like Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. None of those things scream “Bulls” to me. I suppose of by some miracle we did manage to ship Kirk out for some expiring contract that we could potentially pull off a ‘Bron-Bosh signing which would give us a three-player core of ‘Bron-Bosh-Rose. But it’s also technically possible to strike oil under a gold mine…it just never happens.

    “captin kirk is a very good player but he can’t be making that kind of money to share mins it’s the case of the very good player losing his job to Great Player”

    Regardless of whether Kirk deserves $9 million per year (he probably doesn’t), the Bulls are stuck paying him that because they chose to give him a big contract back when it looked like Deng-Gordon-Hinrich was our Core of the Future. All we can do is suck it up or find a team that will absorb his cap-killer in return for expiring contracts…which, given the economic state of the NBA, seems more unlikely by the day.

    Alex R January 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    LeBron has in fact shown interest in coming to Chicago. He said that he would love to play along side Derrick Rose one day. Derrick said the same back to him. With that said, its no question Chicago has a better supporting cast than New York does to win a championship. As much as the media would love to have Lebron be a Knick, there is much more of a possibility of him becoming a Bull.

    bullsfandom January 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Honestly, I’ve read rumors of him going to the Clippers, the Griz, etc. And he hasn’t actually come out in favor of going (or staying) anywhere yet…its all been speculation by bored sports bloggers/columnists so far. I’m just getting sick of hearing how we are going to lure Wade or Bosh here but we have absolutely no chance at Lebron. If the rumors are true that his deal with Nike will skyrocket if he moves to a major market, that would mean that we could in effect offer him more money than the Cavs while completing with the Clippers and the Knicks. I don’t think we have a bad chance in that scenario.

    Matt McHale January 14, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    bullsfandom — LeBron wants to be a global icon…his goal is to become as big or bigger than Michael Jordan ever was. Unless the Bulls pull of a Pau Gasol-level heist and ship Hinrich somewhere for expiring contracts and somehow get LeBron AND Bosh, then coming here would be a losing proposition for LeBron. I mean, if he comes to MJ’s old team and doesn’t live up to MJ’s six championships (and how could he?), I think he would see that as a loss of stature. As it is, he can be favorably compared to MJ. But if he comes to Chicago and can’t live up to the legacy, he’ll be compared in a negative way (“LeBron couldn’t do what Mike did.”)

    I just don’t think he wants to deal with that.

    Matt McHale January 14, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Alex R. — When asked (yes, he was asked) whether he’d like to play with Rose (after Rose had already said he’d like to play with LeBron), James said:

    “Yeah, especially on an Olympic team. He did a great job this past summer holding it down for some of the older guys, giving them some rest. He’s a great point guard. He’s a great player. I love watching Derrick play, man, he’s unbelievable. All he’s going to do is continue to get better — with every game, with every practice. Hopefully in the 2012 Olympics, he can be a part of that team and have some fun.”

    There was no hedging in that paragraph. He was pretty clearly talking about the Olympic team and not the Bulls. Could LeBron be dissembling? Possibly. But he’s shown actual interest in playing in New York, and we know Cleveland can offer him the most money. The Bulls seem like a pretty long shot…even if they had the cash to lure him and another top-notch free agent.

    felipe garcia January 14, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    1st of all like I said before, the Bulls have no chance of signing LeBron to come to Chicago this year because he does not want to mess around with the Jordan era numbers. The Bulls only have a chance of getting D. Wade, Joe Johnson or Chris Bosh but, I highly doubt it. That is why I say let just make our moves right now and get a cheeper solid good players like: Kevin Martin, David Lee, Rudy Gay, Al Harrington, Beno Udrih, Anthony Randolph and others. By trading Tyrus Thomas, Jerome James, Kirk Hinrick, John Salmons and their draft picks.

    felipe garcia January 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    And this is not a bad idea because if you think about it, if the Chicago Bulls do manage sign a guy like D. Wade, LeBron James, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh they are not looking for a 17-18 million dollar contract they are looking for a 20 million dollar contract and with that money the Bulls can get two solid players like: David Lee and Rudy Gay with that money.

    mike killer January 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    Yah that is so true, Star Player want more money: look at Kobe, Shaq & T-Mac they are all making around 20 millions dollars with their contracts and I am pretty sure that is what D. Wade, LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Chris Bosh want.

  12. Ryan January 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    If nobody noticed, Lebron river danced on the Bulls this year. I took that as a clear indicator that he will not be considering us in 2010 FA. How many players in the league would do that if they were wanting to go to that team? I think it was his way of telling the fans and the media that he has no respect for the Bulls – I don’t think he wants any more comparisons to MJ either. I would rather stick with Jo Johnson and Amare (or Bosh).

    Chitown_MyKe January 14, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    I would never watch the Bulls again. Tony Allen-chicago product(GAR`BARGE) Scala Hun. He’s Super Duper Gar`Barge x 2. The Bulls don’t need that or money. We need a scorer(2 guard) or a True Center. Noah is the man, but he’s a true power foward. He maturing nicely. Taj is good. Tyrus is miss understood. Kirk don’t need to go no where. Lindsey Hunter needs to be on the coaching staff or something. Aaron Gray needs to show them moves or do a Darko and go home. Pargo needs to stop pulling up so stiff. That’s why his shot is not going in. Bouncing ball, iron rim. Think about it. Deng needs so toughness. If we make it to the playoffs, is he going to be hurt again. Don’t even think about trading for McGrady. He’s still good, but he don’t deserve to play in Chicago. Why is LA Lakers, Boston and Cleveland keep landing these trades. Politics. Sports suck now. To much politicing and no true skills. Go and get Gilbert arenas. I swear that’s all we need. Minus the gun toating. lol…. Mike Hart singing off. Chicago’s own. Wyld 100s.

    Matt McHale January 14, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    “If nobody noticed, Lebron river danced on the Bulls this year. I took that as a clear indicator that he will not be considering us in 2010 FA. How many players in the league would do that if they were wanting to go to that team?”

    Good point.

    bullsfandom January 14, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    Lebron river dances on every body. The only reason it made the news was because Noah had the cajones to defend his pride.

    It is a fair point that he would be in Jordan’s shadow (even more) if he came here…but we have seen how big his ego is already. Do you honestly think he doesn’t already believe himself to be better than Michael? And like I said before, where would he have the best chance to compete in a big market?

    With the cap supposedly shrinking next year, the Knicks aren’t going to be able to add Lebron and a Bosh…and the Clippers are looking at another lottery pick in the stacked West.

    Now we might not be able to get both Lebron and Bosh, but we could pick up a David Lee, or another mid-level big man who might want to take a little less money to play here (Like Ray Allen followed KG to the Celtics).

    andres Lopez January 15, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    I also agree with most of you people about LeBron James not coming to Chicago. I don’t think the Bulls have a chance of signing any top free agent players like Bosh, Wade or Joe Johnson. That is why I also think the Bulls should sign two solid players like: David Lee and Marcin Gortat.


    georgeg January 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    The Bulls’ problem is that Kirk is too valuable a player to just give away, but that’s the only way that they are going to get far enough under the salary cap to try and make a run at a star FA this season. And if they trade him without getting someone who can actually PLAY at a similar level, they would have no backup PG and no backup SG.

    Chicago is 7-3 since Hinrich moved into the starting lineup. Last season they went 3-1 when he started. That’s not entirely a coincidence.

    Why don’t they keep Kirk and try and trade John Salmons instead? Teams might be interested in Salmons’ shorter, cheaper deal. And they might be able to get a decent 3rd guard in return.

  18. Ryan January 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    I didn’t see Lebron dancing on the Jazz last night? Noah never makes the news – example: All Star voting/Brad Miller on the ballot?
    I don’t think Lebron cares about a big market – He is a BIG market without basketball, and no I do not think he believes he is better than MJ. Lebron knows the only measuring stick for success in the NBA is rings. He had a taste of the Finals, but is hungrier now. With a solid base in Cleveland and and the showers or adornment in New York, why consider Chi? I want to stick with the rich man’s BG and quiet assassin Joe Johnson and one of the best high Pick and Rollers in the game, Amare. What is a better fit for the Bulls? Wade is from Chi, but he is happy in So. Flo – Bosh will soon join him in the sun or go to Texas.
    Don’t get me wrong, I would love Lebron – but I think the dancing was non-verbal decline to Chicago.

    bullsfan76 January 16, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    i agree chitown if thats the trade they make tallen and the red head dud they gave up on the season and fans should be pissed

    bullsfan76 January 16, 2010 at 12:50 am #

    captin kirk and tyrus to thewizzirds the wizerds send butler to the kings the kings send martin to the bulls thats a good deal or try to get m elis from the golden state

    bullsfan76 January 16, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    here is one trade no one has talked about why not try to make a deal with the timberwolves for al jefferson

    felipe garcia January 16, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    Yah, that would be a great move bullsfan76. When I already suggested that idea before about the Bulls get Kevin Martin. To be honest with you, I think my idea is way better then your because I said the Bulls should give up: Kirk Hinrich, John Salmons and their 1st round draft for Kevin Martin and Beno Udrih. That way they can get a two solid players instead of just getting one player in return. Plus Beno Udrih will be a great backup point guard for Derrick Rose, along with having a high percent shooting guard like Kevin Martin. And who care if they have long term contracts: like Martin has 3 years left and Udril has 2 years left next season. People lets not forget they are both still young and have a lot of millage to play solid basketball at the ages of 26 and 27. Unlike when the bulls sign Ben Wallace when he was already in his early 30’s. Plus having Kevin Martin the Bulls save up lots of money for not paying a max super star player 20 millions dollars for D. Wade or Joe Johnson. If the Bulls make this trade happen soon, they will have enough money to get another solid player like David Lee. If they trade Tyrus Thomas and Jerome James for Al Harrington. Remember Al Harrington is in his last year with his big 10 million dollar contract and the Bulls can use his money to get David Lee this summer. Plus having Al Harrington is not a bad move because they will finally have a balance out their PF spot. Al Harrington will come in for offense (scoring) and Taj Gibson will come in for defense (to make some stops). Then we are set for the next season to make a strong playoff run into the finials hopefully.

    felipe garcia January 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Not only does this trade deal helps out the bulls, it also helps out both sides. The Kings will be getting a great experience point guard like Kirk Hinrich to help out Tyreke Evans and the team to become a stronger defensive force. Plus they already know what John Salmons is capable of doing and they have the chance to keep his money if he does oppose out of his contract which is around 6 million they can keep. Not to mention, they have another 1st round draft pick from the Bulls to draft another solid player similar to Omri Casspi talent or who ever they want this summer. As for New York they will get a high athletic dunker, shot blocker, defensive guy like Tyrus Thomas, who is still very young at the age of 23 years old. Plus they will get more money to add more room in their cap space from Jerome James 6 million dollar contract to sign another super star player they want this summer.

    dj January 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Yah, that is not a bad idea Garcia, people can you imagine this monster lineup next season:
    Starter for 2010-2011
    PG: D. Rose
    SG: K. Martin
    SF: L. Deng
    PF: D. LEE
    C: J. Noah
    Bench Players
    Taj Gibson
    James Johnson
    Beno Udril
    The Bulls 2nd Round Draft pick
    and other cheep solid Free-Agent players

    bullsfan76 January 17, 2010 at 3:06 am #

    but you love salmons garcia come on we no your the king but that said every one has had good ideas but its up to the front office to make it happen

    felipe garcia January 17, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    True that bullsfan76, I do love John Salmons and Kirk Hinrich game but, if the Bulls manage to get Kevin Martin and Beno Udril in this deal then it is worth it. And yes some people do have some good ideas out their and their are some that are just dumb asking for: T-Mac, Caron Butler, Manu Ginobili, Carlos Boozer and others for the Bulls key players. Let just hope that our front office management deportment makes some smart moves like they did before last season by adding Brad Miller, John Salmons and a 1st round draft pick.

    Ranman January 17, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    LOL, Kirk doesn’t need to go anywhere? He has turned over the ball more this year than last year and he hasn’t scored as much for someone making what he is making. Plus he can’t stick any premier players. So much for our defensive specialist…Plus he makes very bad decisions for a player of his so called caliber. He looks more like a 2 year player than rose does. Plus he has lost his shot. I’d rather see Ben Gordon still here.
    He and Pargo and maybe a few others need to go. (lol he can’t even guard JR smith or slow arse michael redd.

    StratMaster7 January 17, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Kind of expected all the hater posts but there were only a couple. We should all be careful not to ignore that when Hinrich starts the Bulls win, when he doesn’t, they lose. And we need to also pay attention to the fact that he is the player mentioned in almost all trade rumors because there are THAT MANY other teams who would like to have him. His contract will be down to 9mil, and then 8 mil the following year. I would love to see him as the 6th man behind Rose and Wade.

    Trade Salmons for ANYTHING a.k.a. NOTHING, and let Thomas go.

    andres Lopez January 18, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    It is not that most of us are hating on Kirk Hinrich StratMaster7, like Ranman mention this already: “his numbers are still down and he is still making a lot of money for the position he is in.” Plus he is not the center piece anymore, Derrick Rose is that piece and he needs solid consistent scorer to help him win more games. How do you think D. Rose won a championship in college, playing for Memphis? Hint: He had great scorers to help him win.

    andres Lopez January 18, 2010 at 5:33 am #

    Plus, sometimes in order to get good player like Kevin Martin, Al Harrington, Monte Ellis and other you have to give up good players in return like Hinrich, Salmons and Tyrus Thomas

    SportsLlama January 18, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    Derrick Rose didn’t win a championship at Memphis, do people forget that?

    Everybody with the exception of Rose and Noah are expendable if we can get Bosh.

    Adam G January 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    I don’t think that the Bulls can win a title with D Rose as their best player. He seems like the type of guy that can be the second best player on a championship team. Deng can be the third best player. They need to get a top 10 player, like Bosh to be able to compete for a title. You need a superstar in the NBA to be able to bring home the title, and the Bulls lack that. Rose is only 21 and maybe in 4 or 5 years he can be the best player on a title winning team, but if we want to win before then we need a top 5 shooting guard like Wade or Joe Johnson, or a big man that commands a double team in the low post like Bosh or Amare.

    Kevin Martin is an all O no D gunner like Ben Gordon, there was a reason why we let Gordon go, because the Bulls would never win a title with him at the 2. They won’t be able to win a title with K Martin at the 2 either.

    bullsfan76 January 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    adam you are right thats why i would rather get m ellis he is second in the nba in steals and martin is allways hert so yes he is as in martin better than what we have but ellis is a better player get ellis than lets go after a pf in the offseason

    bullsfan76 January 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    and lopez rose did not win a championship in coll

    andres Lopez January 19, 2010 at 3:28 am #

    Adam G and bullsfan76 I think you guys are both crazy. I like Monte Ellis game bullsfan76 but, he is to small for a SG like BG. Like Adam G told me this “why do you think we let Gordon go?” (jackass lol jk) At least with Kevin Martin he is a taller SG at 6-7 and Adam G I think you should recheck Kevin Martin stats again buddy because the kid can play solid Defense, not to mention he is a high percent shooter from Mid-rage and from downtown hitting threes like Joe Johnson but the cheeper version.

    andres Lopez January 19, 2010 at 4:15 am #

    Plus Monte Ellis has a bigger contract then Kevin Martin for 4 years left next season and he worth more money then Martin around 11 million dollars bullsfan76.

    bill thomas January 19, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    Yah, that is so true Lopez, the Bulls really don’t need an All Star SG like D. Wade or Joe Johnson to win a championship. Look at the San Antonio Spurs, when they won their championship back in the year 2000. They only had 1 real All Star player which was Tim Duncan and they still won. If the Bulls can manage to add 2-3 consistent scorer like Kevin Martin and others with 1 All Star PF player like Chris Bosh or David Lee to help D. Rose. Then they have a chance of winning a championship again.

    bullsfan76 January 20, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    i didnt say martin is not a good player you need to look at the numbers lopez i said he has missed allot of games thats what i said off course martin is a good player its just he cant stay on the court you know the same reason garcia said it was dumb for people to want tmac which i agree i dont want tmac either and yes they got rid of bg but dude ellis is much better player them bg he playes dfence thats why you guy allways put bg down and deservingly so he was a defense liability but ellis is not if you have drose and ellis thats a very good backcourt esp if you get a allstar pf like bosh or lee of jefferson

    bullsfan76 January 20, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    not to pick on you lopez but you said me and adam where crazy ok her are the numbers martin 25.5 ppg 5.0 reb asst2.4 steals 1.50 blk 0.25 ellis 26.4ppg 4.2 reb 5.4 asst steals 2.30 and blk 0.41 so there you go ellis a smaller dude has more blokes per game he is better yes he makes more but what do you think is going to happen when martins contract end he is going to want joejohnson money we just have to wait and see dont be surprised if they dont get either of them

    bullsfan76 January 20, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    oh by the way from the field, field goal percentage martin is shooting 40 % from the field while ellis is shooting 46% from the field. martin is shooting better from three. you cant go wrong with either one but martin is injury prone thats all i am saying

    andres lopez January 20, 2010 at 2:09 am #

    Not to pick on you either bullsfan76 but, I never said I don’t like Monte Ellis game. All I am just saying to you is that the Bulls have a higher chance of getting Kevin Martin over Monte Ellis since the Kings are not playing well together with MARTIN coming back at full strenght in the starting rotation with Tyreke Evans. I do agree with you about him missing a couple of games during the regular season each year. But, I also remember last year that Monte Ellis miss almost the hole season from a leg injury and he never got back to full strenght that year. Martin on the other hand miss some games but, not to the point of missing almost the hole season. Then again your right, maybe the Bulls mate not end up getting either of them before the deadline since Hinrich and Salmons are starting to pick up their games each night, but Tyrus Thomas on the other hand he needs to go and be traded right away for Al Harrington for more scoring production.

    andres lopez January 20, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    off the bench with a balance of Taj Gibson coming in for defense and Al Harrington coming in for offense.

    andres lopez January 20, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    If you think about Tyrus Thomas and Taj Gibson does not balance out right because they both play similar games. They both can block shots, play solid defense, hit a couple of shots from outside but, Taj Gibson shots them at a high percentage and they both can dunk inside but, Tyrus Thomas has more explosive dunks.

    bullsfan76 January 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    i will agree they should trade him i dont know what they are waiting for that would be a nice deal if they can pull it off and as for gibson i like him better than thomas because he is a rookie but already he in my opinion is better because he is more consistant even tho he is a rookie i like this kid in 2 or 3 years we could be saying what a steal he was

    andres Lopez January 21, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    I totally agree, Tyrus Thomas needs to go A.S.A.P!

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