Chicago Sun-Times

Kirk Hinrich expected to sign two-year deal with Bulls

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Free-agent guard Kirk Hinrich has verbally agreed to a two-year contract with the Bulls that will pay him approximately $6 million, the Sun-Times has confirmed.

Hinrich, who spent his first seven years with the Bulls and still has a home near the team's training facility in Deerfield, could play point guard while Derrick Rose recovers from a torn ACL in his left knee before shifting to two-guard once Rose has recovered.

Hinrich averaged 6.6 points and 2.8 assists in 48 games (31 starts) with the Atlanta Hawks last season after missing the first 18 games of the season after surgery on his left shoulder. He shot .414 from the floor and .346 from beyond the three-point arc.

Hinrich's signing would make C.J. Watson's return unlikely. The Bulls have a $3.2 million option on their backup point guard for the past two seasons but also drafted point guard Marquis Teague of Kentucky with the 29th overall pick in the recent NBA draft.

Watson played in 49 games last season, including a career-high 25 starts, and averaged 9.7 points and 4.1 assists. Watson shot .368 from the floor and .393 from long distance.

John Lucas III was the Bulls third-string point guard last season. He has played against Hinrich in college and in the NBA and said he was unsure if his signing would impact his return to the Bulls. Lucas said eight teams have expressed interest in him since free agency began.

"Kirk has proven himself in the league for as many years as he has been in there," Lucas III said. "I like Kirk. I liked him in college. He has had some injuries the past couple years but he can still play."

The Bulls traded Hinrich to the Washington Wizards in 2010. The Wizards traded him to the Hawks in 2011.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on July 6, 2012 6:19 PM.

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