It had appeared at one point that the Bulls were going to lock Hinrich up to a deal at the MMLE for two seasons which would have given them some additional flexibility as they would not have been hampered by the hard cap. However, when signing time came, Hinrich signed at a shade under 4 million intead, making Bulls fans wonder what the hell happened?
According to Sam Smith, the Bucks had a lucrative three year deal on the table for Kirk.
Hinrich had a substantial, three year offer from the Bucks. Consider that Watson signed for a minimum while there was a bidding contest for Hinrich.
To even come close to appealing to Hinrich — and Hinrich went on to accept less money and years to return to the Bulls — the Bulls had to get below the luxury tax to use the so called non taxpaying exception, which is above $3 million. Hinrich signed with the Bulls for about $3.9 million, still less than the Bucks’ offer.
So while we can be somewhat less than amped up about the Kirk signing, at least we know the Bulls weren't bidding against themselves. The real question will be whether Kirk can provide the playmaking. He doesn't really provide the scoring that Watson does, and I'm not sure if he provides the defense at the PG position either [much better defending 2s though], but Watson wasn't a playmaker, and we'll have to hope Kirk runs a better offense.
The problem, of course, is that Hinrich was never a great player maker in his prime, so to expect it now seems like a stretch.
Sam went on to say a few other things I found rather nonsensical.
The Bulls didn’t want to trade their starting center for a one year look at Dwight Howard, which the Lakers did.
I doubt this was ever a choice, and if it was a choice, and the Bulls said no, then we need new management. However, I don't believe they would have said no to parting with Noah to get Howard even without a commitment. Noah + Deng + Gibson + Mirotic + picks maybe, but Noah? Nah probably not.
Had the Bulls made some of those major financial moves, they would have been limited in other potential actions, like sign and trade deals and use of exceptions. That could have limited many acquisition possibilities. Was that worth it for an O.J. Mayo to back up Richard Hamilton or Carl Landry to backup Carlos Boozer?
The Bulls will basically have no flexibility to do those things net year anyway [and obviously they can't this year with the hard cap], so yeah, it would have been worth it to get O.J. Mayo. Do we want to place bets on whether the Bulls use a trade exception or S&T next year to bring in a better player, because I'm really happy to take the "no way in hell" side of that bet.
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