Wasting money on mediocrity
Kirk Hinrich was part of the baby Bulls team that had a good run several years back. They swept the Heat in the first round the year after Miami won the NBA title. Then with Ben Gordon making insane clutch shot after insane clutch shot, the Bulls took the Celtics to 7 games in the first round in 08-09. It was an exciting young team, but other than in 06-07, this team either lost in the first round or missed the playoffs. And in the years they made the playoffs as an 8 seed, miracle finishes were needed to even clinch a playoff berth.
When the Bulls drafted Derrick Rose it became apparent that they realized Hinrich was only going to take them as far as where they had been. 2 years later Hinrich was no longer a Bull. Kirk Hinrich has since battled injuries and has bounced around from Atlanta, to Washington and then back to Atlanta. His numbers continue to drop and he is now 31.
The best part about his game when healthy was his defense. He was great for Scott Skiles; being able to guard points guard and shooting guards. Tom Thibodeau would like to utilize him the same way I'm sure. My only question is, can he still provide that same defensive toughness with the age and injuries? I'm concerned that the Bulls just wasted their money on someone who isn't the same player.
And Hinrich was never great as a point guard. His numbers were average at best. While he shot a high percentage from beyond the arc, he was never a consistent jump shooter and never resembled anything close to clutch.
This move also concerns me from the Derrick Rose standpoint. I have heard people say Rose will play next year and others have told me--no chance. However, whether or not Rose plays next year, the Bulls shouldn't go looking for a stopgap when they still have players on the team more than capable of filling in for Rose until he returns.
I'm disappointed the Bulls are unlikely to pick up CJ Watson's $3M option for next year. Now I know Watson cost them their first round series against the Sixers by making a bonehead mental error in the closing seconds of game 6, and actually had his life threatened for it via Twitter. The thing is, Watson played good defense and while was as inconsistent as Hinrich from the perimeter, was among the elite from downtown. And he's younger than Hinrich.
And now I'm reading the Bulls may not bring back John Lucas III as well. When Rose went down, Lucas provided such a spark and won a few games in the clutch, including a game where he dominated the Heat and even got revenge on LeBron James for that earlier season dunk over him. Now I know Lucas is undersized and may be a defensive liability at times, but heart can make up for shortcomings.
I was very pleased with the draft pick of Marquis Teague and hoped that with him, Watson and maybe Lucas the Bulls would get enough from the position to compete for a playoff spot until Rose returns (if he does). It seems as if the Bulls front office forgot that when Rose was out last year--the team went 18-9 without him.
I don't want to use the word panic, but something tells me the front office felt they needed to make a move that would better the team. In my opinion, Kirk Hinrich does not better this team. I do not look forward to him being on this team in any capacity.