When Kirk Hinrich tweaked his groin during last night's game against the Thunder, it shone a spotlight on the reality of the Bulls' situation, according to Nick Friedell in a piece for ESPNChicago.com. With Derrick Rose out and the bench having been overhauled in the offseason, it's not clear yet whether Chicago has the depth to withstand another injury or two, opines Friedell. While we wait to hear if Hinrich's injury is any more than a minor issue, here's the rest of this morning's Bulls-related updates:
The Bulls have made a pair of camp cuts so far, waiving both Andre Emmett and Vance Cooksey, but a few more moves are still to come. Even with two roster spots available, Kyrylo Fesenko, Marko Jaric, and Ryan Allen are long shots to make the club, considering the Bulls are only about $758K from their hard cap for the season. Here are the latest links out of Chicago:
We've already covered a few stories out of the Eastern Conference today, including Rashard Lewis' desire to play for five more years, the latest on Rasheed Wallace's timetable with the Knicks, and camp cuts by the Sixers and Cavaliers. Now, let's round up another handful of East-related links....
Although Derrick Rose has expressed a reluctance in the past to take an active role in recruiting free agents, that stance came to an end this summer, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com. Rose told media in Chicago yesterday that he played a role in helping the Bulls attract Kirk Hinrich in free agency.
"Kirk is someone I could see playing alongside a long time," Rose said. "When you’re a hooper and you know someone on the court is going into a battle with you, and he’s not giving up if he knows you are going to keep battling and I’m someone that will keep fighting to the end, and he’s the same as you, so why not have him on the team? Kirk is the first person I recruited."
As Shams Charania of RealGM.com writes, Rose has talked in the past about wanting to stay out of the team's personnel decisions and leaving that to the front office. However, Charania says Rose sent a "clear message" yesterday that he wants to see the Bulls add players that are passionate to play in Chicago.
"My teammates, they want to be here," Rose said. "It isn’t no trade thing. The people that want to be here, they’re here for a reason: It’s because they want to be here."
Hinrich, who signed a two-year, $8MM deal with the Bulls is expected to step in for Rose during the season's first half, while the All-Star point guard recovers from his ACL injury.
The Metropolitan King County Council took the initial step towards bringing an NBA arena to Seattle, according to the Associated Press. Investor Chris Hansen's $490MM plan calls for nearly $300MM in private funds and $200MM in public contribution. Here's tonight's look around the Association..
1:37pm: Hinrich's two-year deal will pay him roughly $8MM, says K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. In that case, Hinrich will receive more than $3.09MM in year one, meaning the Bulls are using their full mid-level exception, hard-capping their 2012/13 team salary at about $74.3MM.
JULY 23RD, 12:33pm: The Bulls have officially signed Hinrich, the team announced today in a press release. Since Chicago couldn't work out a sign-and-trade with Atlanta, the deal is expected to consume the team's full taxpayer mid-level exception.
JULY 8TH: The Bulls have reached a verbal agreement on a deal with free agent guard Kirk Hinrich, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). While details are still being finalized, Hinrich is expected a receive a two-year, $6MM contract from the Bulls. Hinrich returns to the franchise that drafted him in 2003 after spending parts of the last two seasons with the Wizards and Hawks.
By adding Hinrich to their backcourt, the Bulls have given themselves more stability at the guard position with Derrick Rose on the shelf for at least a portion of the upcoming season. The former Kansas star averaged 6.6 PPG and 2.8 APG in 48 games during the 2011/12 season.
JULY 16: The Hawks have announced via a team press release that they have officially acquired Kyle Korver from the Bulls in exchange for cash. As noted on Twitter by ESPN.com's John Hollinger, the Bulls receive a $5MM trade exception in the deal, and the Timberwolves are no longer involved.
JULY 13: The trade will also include the Timberwolves, according to Johnson (via Twitter). Korver will be absorbed into the Hawks' $5MM trade exception, and the Bulls will receive a second-round pick from Minnesota, says Johnson. It sounds as if one more detail is required here.
2:18pm: The Bulls have agreed to trade Kyle Korver to the Hawks, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). The deal is pending a physical, and could become a sign-and-trade involving Kirk Hinrich, according to Johnson.With Korver's $5MM contract only partially guaranteed if the Bulls released him by a certain date, we heard earlier this week that Chicago was exploring the trade market to avoid having to eat any of Korver's 2012/13 salary. The Timberwolves were also mentioned as a potential suitor, but those talks seemed to fall through, leaving Atlanta as a logical fit.
Not only were the Bulls expecting to sign Hinrich, a Hawks' free agent, which means a sign-and-trade deal could work, but Atlanta also recently acquired a trade exception worth $5MM -- exactly the amount of Korver's deal. There are a number of ways the two sides could complete the trade, but either way, the move works out well for Chicago. They'll clear Korver from their books, and could also save their mini mid-level exception for another player if Hinrich is part of the deal. I imagine the Hawks would acquire a future draft pick along with Korver if they agree to a sign-and-trade, though we don't know the exact details yet.
Derrick Rose's road to recovery appears to be progressing along nicely according to his brother Reggie, who says that the Bulls superstar is "way ahead of schedule." Rose is now walking without a brace and is currently in California enjoying a quiet retreat from Chicago in the meantime (Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago has the report). Here's what else we've heard out of Chicago tonight, including more on Omer Asik, thoughts on Dwight Howard, and a returning Bull..