According to “a person with knowledge the situation”, the Chicago Bulls have offered former captain Kirk Hinrich a contract that would allow him to return to his first NBA home.
The information comes form Aggery Sam of CSNChicago who reported this morning that Chicago offered Hinrich a deal on the outset of free agency. The exact numbers on the deal aren’t yet known but it is most likely at or near the mid-level exception.
Before anyone busts out the old No. 12’s, the contract the Bulls reportedly offered is well below Hinrich’s desired price range.
Chicago’s mid-level exception starts at $3 million and Hinrich’s minimum is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.23 million given his veteran status.
There is also the matter of the length of the deal. The Bulls currently have C.J. Watson under contract as a point guard for the next season but just the next season, nothing further than that. Hinrich won’t want to sign a one year deal which means the Bulls may be offering him a multi-year contract that may contradict with their plans to stay out of the luxury tax.
Hinrich played seven season with Bulls after being drafted seventh overall in the 2003 NBA draft out of the University of Kansas. He had a solid stint with the Bulls too, earning the nickname “Captain Kirk” due to his status as team captain. So Hinrich knows Chicago and has a track history here. The question now is will he take a significant hometown discount to return or will he be enticed by another offer.
As many as 8 teams are interested in Hinrich’s services including the Jazz, Lakers, Celtics,
In addition to that, the Bulls severed ties with Hinrich very abruptly in 2009 to try and free up salary cap space for their pursuit of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh the following offseason. Chicago shipped Hinrich and the 17th overall pick in the draft (who ended up being Kevin Seraphin) for a second round pick (which ended up being Vladimir Veremeenko).
Hinrich then went to Atlanta where he’s been for the past one and a half seasons. He hits the market with value (as stated above) but does he have love for Chicago? He’s expressed an interest in returning but wants to mull over all his options first.