Chicago Bulls: 15 best defenders of all-time

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
7 of 16
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images /

2003-2010, 2012-2016. Kirk Hinrich. 10. player. 24. . Guard

Kirk Hinrich was a player who didn’t fit the traditional molds of basketball impact.

A white off-guard from Iowa, classic NBA archetypes suggest Hinrich should have been a defensively-challenged shooter. Instead, Hinrich is one of the best guard defenders in franchise history.

The 6-4 guard did get steals, the classic evaluation tool for defensive impact in the backcourt. That said, his style was not simply leaning into swiping for the ball but rather playing sound defense on and off-ball to force the opponent into low-percentage looks.

Across 11 seasons with the Bulls, Hinrich amassed a Defensive Plus-Minus (DPM) of 4.1.

That is the second-highest number in franchise history behind Ben Wallace, who played two seasons with the team and put up an insane DPM of 6.0.

Looking at his fellow guards, the next-highest mark is Jerry Sloan at a DPM of 2.3 (Michael Jordan had a good-but-not-great DPM mark of 1.3). When Hinrich was on the court, the Bulls were significantly better on defense.

Some of that impact is attributable to the players he shared the court with, including Wallace for those two seasons, but such a high impact over eleven seasons does not happen accidentally. Hinrich was recognized for his efforts with an All-Defensive Second Team selection in 2007. He probably should have received more.