Just over two years after getting traded from the Chicago Bulls to Washington Wizards, sources said free-agent guard Kirk Hinrich has verbally agreed to return to the franchise that drafted him.
Hinrich, who spent his first seven seasons with the Bulls, is expected to sign a two-year deal worth just over $6 million, one source said, though details were still being finalized. The free-agent moratorium ends on July 11.
Hinrich solves the Bulls’ primary need for a combo guard who can start at point guard while Derrick Rose rehabilitates from knee surgery, then slide over to shooting guard to back up Richard Hamilton and play alongside Rose eventually.
Hinrich, 31, averaged 6.6 points and 2.8 assists on 41.4 percent shooting in 48 games for the Atlanta Hawks last season. He has averaged 12.5 points and 5.4 assists on 41.7 percent shooting in nine NBA seasons.
Though he has been slowed a bit by injuries and age, Hinrich is still considered a strong perimeter defender who can guard multiple positions. Hinrich, drafted seventh overall in 2003 as John Paxson’s first pick as Bulls’ general manager, has kept an offseason home near the Bulls’ training facility. He told the Tribune in March he’d be open to a return.
The move signals the end of C.J. Watson’s tenure in Chicago. The Bulls have a July 10 deadline to pick up Watson’s $3.2 million team option. But with Hinrich, Rose and rookie Marquis Teague in the fold, Watson’s option almost certainly won’t be picked up.
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