Thursday, June 24, 2010

The End of Hinrich?

That's what Ric Bucher's reporting:

The Chicago Bulls have a deal in place that would move Kirk Hinrich and the 17th pick to the Washington Wizards, freeing up enough cap space to pursue two maximum-salary players on this summer's free-agent market, sources with knowledge of the Bulls' plans said Thursday.

It wasn't immediately clear what Washington would send to Chicago in the trade.

The deal can't be officially consummated until July 8, when the Wizards will have room under the salary cap to absorb Hinrich's $9 million contract without having to send back anything of similar value.

Since it's a good-faith deal for the time being, there remains a chance it could fall apart. But according to one source, the Sacramento Kings are prepared to make a similar deal with the Bulls in the Wizards' stead if that were to happen.

This is obviously a pretty risky move by the Bulls, because as much as I carped about him, I still think Hinrich is a valuable player in a lot of ways. This must also mean the Bulls will almost certainly be signing Joe Johnson as one of their free-agent pickups (as K.C. suggested this morning). Though I'm not a huge fan of Joe, he does make more sense to me if he's one of two big free agent pickups, as opposed to being the sole prize. And I guess a "core" of Rose, Noah, and Johnson is more enticing to, say, Lebron, than a core of Rose, Noah, and Hinrich would be. And this also means that even if the Bulls whiff on LBJ, they could add one of the bigger time PF free agents (Bosh, Stoudemire, hell even Lee or Boozer) and throw out a pretty impressive starting five. Would it be enough to compete with the Wade-Bosh-James "super team" that Miami seems dead-set on putting together? Hard to say, might.