Now we know why the Bulls paid Kirk; Milwaukee was going to pay even more

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?

Wait what?

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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  • Makes me sad when Sam is off his game, but nice to know the details about the Kirk contract. I am now officially 2% less furious at the Bulls front office.

    In terms of off-season moves, David Thorpe has an interesting piece up about how the Celtics had a surprisingly good off-season, unlike the Bulls. He argues that Boston could be way better than most people are expecting and have a shot at knocking off Miami:

    Thorpe is one of the more level-headed analysts out there, and I think he's on-target with most of his points. Looking back at Doug's "Balance of Power in the East" post, I wonder if Terry is actually be a better fit, at least with the new-look Celts, than Allen was last year. In any case, I could see them finishing much, much higher than sixth, which is where Doug had them--maybe third or even second (depending on Rose's timeline). And even if they don't actually end up with a top seed, they may well be the 2nd or 3rd best team come playoff time.

    Anyway, it'd be pretty bizarre if we ended up with yet another Lakers/Celtics finals despite all the young/peak talent in the league right now.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    I think the Celtics could very well finish first. They are crazy deep, have the coaching, have the stars, and flat out have the talent. I think it will be a Lakers-Celtics finalls.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    I like the Celtics off-season, but their off-season was composed of bringing in role players while the star players all get older and worse. It's hard for me to see them getting better because of that.

    Also worth noting that after two years, David Thorpe still thought Brook Lopez was better than Derrick Rose. Just saying.

  • I don't see the Bulls asking Hinrich to be a play maker, just a game manager. He will have offensive weapons around him that he did not have when he was here before. Hinrich can still get ten points or so but will be a passing pg first. I still think it was increadible he averaged about 6 assist a game when he had Ben Wallace, Chandler, Antonio Davis, and a young Noah to pass the ball to. An experienced Noah, Gibson, and most of all Boozer is way better than anything he had before. I really think he and Boozer could play well together.

  • So there is another management team that is even worse than the Bulls. That is all that tells me. Passing on a top five player is just stupid especially given the cheap package he went for. They didn't even bother to get involved they were never even in on Howard.

    Hinrich is a poor SG and a even worse fit as our PG. This was a stupid signing when you could have a younger guy like Mayo who might actually be a future key player for you. Instead they go for an old Klank who is a poor fit and has no starting spot once Rose is back mid season. Bulls won't finish in the top 5 for the east this year.

  • Since Sam Smith writes for, I’m assuming he’s paid by the Bulls. Thus, expect a high degree of homerism with anything he writes.

  • In reply to RichG:

    That could be true, but he was a beat writer for the tribune for 30 years or so and wrote a couple of tell all books about the Bulls. Maybe he's just being paid to shill, but I would like to think he has more integrity than that.

  • Well by god I sure am glad we won out over Milwaukee(ha, ha).

    Seriously, I will not convince myself that since this is what we're stuck with that suddenly Hinrich is going to be a solid player for the Bulls. Pre-singing almost nobody here would have wanted him. Of course it is possible he has a good shooting year, but again IMO he makes a lot of bonehead mistakes(fouls etc.) in regards to winning and whines too much for my liking.

    It will be intereting to see what kind of season Mayo has with Dirk, Cuban, Carlisle etc. If he has a pretty good year it will just rub salt in the wounds of the non-Kirk camp. Oh well, maybe Kirk amd Robinson both have career years and Noah goes back to being a stud..? It is possible I suppose, but the liquidation of the team purely for the sake of avoiding expenses and maximizing profits just after the front office was supposed to be 'all in' makes it a funky environment for success.

  • I can't even imagine Hinrich bring up the ball. To truly understand how bad this signing is, one would have had to be of a conscious age during his entire career. As a fan, you kept waiting for him to peak and then after several years you realized he already did. He never got the benefit of the call and he was just good enough to stop the the Bulls from upgrading his position'...but...but...he's got heart.' Well, so does 'Rudy' but I don't want him as the Bulls starting point guard. I don't care what stat is thrown out, he was always a 'net' negative. This guy must know the right Russian bathhouses to frequent to get these contracts.

  • Doug, you seem ready to bet your life that the Bulls would not refuse to hand over Noah for what amounts to a virtual peep at the much heralded center that can't shoot free throws and is a cancer in the club house.
    You guys on the two Bulls blogs can't believe Noah is so valuable, but Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar think he belongs in elite company. Also, the man that matters most, Reinsdorf, who owns the Bulls is smarter than you Doug, and all the haters on the two Bulls Blogs.
    Joakim Noah is a Bull for life and with Rose will bring the Bulls their first NBA title since the Jordan era.
    It's no coincidence that coach Thibs is still not signed. He had the nerve to disrespect one of the two most valuable players on the Bulls, and Reinsdorf will teach him a lesson with the long wait. If he believes his hype, he can move on and the world will see that he's only as good as his players, and the Bulls players were key to his success.

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    I am a Noah fan, but he is a good, not great, center. How can I dare say this: because he and I have represented the Eastern Conference as All-Star Centers exactly the same number of times. Given the sad state of centers in the NBA in general, and the East specifically, I find that telling.

    That's not only a whole lot of fans voting against Noah's greatness, it is also the coaches in the NBA, who have probably forgotten more about quality NBA play than most of us will ever know.

    That said, I do think Noah could possibly be great if he were healthier. However, every time he seems to progress to that cusp, he gets injured, and it sets him back.

    Noah may end up breaking his All-Star appearance tie with me this year, with Howard out of the conference. However, if I had to place a bet on it, I would go Bynum voted in, with Horford or Hibbert as the selected reserve.

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Noah's one of my favorite players, but if you're defining Howard as a clubhouse cancer who can't hit free throws, you're really missing the mark on what type of player he is. I mean that's not even attempting to reach a reasonable conclusion about him as a player.

    As for the Bulls, I don't know if they'd refuse to send Noah for HOward, but if they would, then they'd deserve to be fired.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Who's going to fire them? The People on this and the other Blog? They hate the Bulls players, so they don't qualify.

  • Salvamini, you're such a liar and colossal fraud, like most of the people on the two Bulls blog, I won't waste time taking you apart. Instead, I'll just go to what caught my attention the last few minutes.
    I went to the other Bulls blog that labels itself "Friendly," but don't tolerate honest views that don't mesh with their idiocy. The host there has only loved one Bull in the last six years, and his name is Tyrus Thomas.
    This guy has never appreciated or tolerated Joakim Noah but in giving a view about Sam Smith recently published Bulls column, was horrified to find out that Reinsdorf wouldn't give up Noah for a peep at the club cancer that's now in the possession of the Lakers.
    I almost fainted when he said he "LOVES NOAH" but can't fathom the Bulls not grabbing the chance to get that guy who can't shoot free throws, the always grinning Dwight Howard. The two Bulls blogs are loaded with hypocrites!

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Last I checked 10.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks was very mediocre line for a starting center.

    Dwight put up 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in a down year. That my friend is the difference between mediocre and great. I would have shipped Noah in a second for Howard.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Your hatred of Noah is legendary, and I've exposed you to Bulls fans. That's my satisfaction, you monster!

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Not that I should feed a troll, but I'm in a mood, so here it goes.

    Point out a single thing I indicated that is factually incorrect. Has Noah been to more All-Star games than I, or anyone, on this blog has?

    Have the fellow NBA fans as well as NBA coaches repeatedly bypassed Noah in favor of other Centers?

    Being a fan of someone doesn't mean you can't view them objectively. Noah is probably somewhere in the realm of #6-#12 if you were listing the best centers in the NBA (and I do include out-of-place PFs playing center). Dwight is clear cut #1, and the gap from #1 to #2 is about as wide as any position discrepancy in the NBA right now (almost Jordan-esque). Even the gap between Lebron and Durant at SF isn't nearly as wide.

    To use Chess terms, assuming a trade consisted of something like Deng + Noah + Mirotic + Picks for Dwight, you would be trading a rook, a bishop and a bunch of pawns for a queen. You do that every day of the week, and twice on Sunday if you have even two IQ points to rub together.

    The Bulls needed to trade out Charles Oakley in order to win a title; to the chagrin of many fans and perhaps the greatest player ever. Noah is no Charles Oakley.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    I love Noah and think you are dead on. There is almost no way he gets an All Star over Bynum and Bosh may be a center this year aswell.
    I just have to know(since you are obviously a liar about who you are) how many all star games have you been to? I don't think Noah even got to go as a rookie vr sophmore player.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    His quote was saying everyone on this blog has been to as many ASGs as Noah(ie 0), he wasn't claiming to be an ex player.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    I'm glad I'm drawing out you and all the other haters/pretenders. You're all exposed. Stop pretending about liking Noah. You hate him and were exposed with Bill Russell's well publicized praise of him.
    Salvamini, you creep, where was your pen when Russell was heaping praise on Noah? You forgot how to put together a sentence, or were you ashamed to disagree with him?
    People like you are dangerous. Noah doesn't need jerks like you for an honest opinion. The performance by people like you is a disgrace to the people of Chicago!

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    For the record, in chess the pieces are generally accorded relative values: queen is 9, rook is 5, bishop is 3, and pawns are 1 apiece. Rook + bishop + multiple pawns > queen in terms of pure point values, which means you would not in fact make that trade "every day of the week, and twice on Sunday" UNLESS you had an IQ of only two. If you had a reasonable facility with the game, you would carefully consider the situation and make a decision based on context. There are situations in which trading more "points" for your opponent's queen makes perfect sense; there are situations where it does not.

    Pedantry aside, I agree entirely with your underlying point about the relative value of Howard and Noah. In my opinion we should ignore SlamDunk entirely until he or she begins to word his or her comments in a manner conducive to friendly debate.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    Just to satisfy your query, I am 100 % male! I'm surprised that Garry Kasparov aka Salvamini didn't respond to your schooling. But you're dealing with a FAKER!

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    " There are situations in which trading more "points" for your opponent's queen makes perfect sense; there are situations where it does not."

    That is where I was going with the point. If the Bulls do not add another 'Queen', they are not winning a title. If the only way to do it is by trading away the pieces, they have to (well, should have).

  • I find Sam Smith's column's on individual games entertaining, but other than, he's basically a shill for the organization. How can someone look objectively at the bench today and think it's better than it has been for the last two years? Players don't cost less because they're better at the game.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    The only thing I'll disagree with you on is that Watson and Brewer both signed min. deals. So technically, if the bulls had keept them, I think they would have been overpaying for them. The diference really is that last year the bench played great defense but couldn't score, this year they will score but maybe not play defense.

  • It's things like this that are the main reason I don't like reading articles about the Bulls, unless I know that the author has a history of not being an apologetic type.

    Now, to be fair, maybe Sam isn't always that way. Maybe it's just been bad luck that the times I've come across his stuff, he's seemed that way. I don't know. Anyway...

    ''Had the Bulls matched on the offer for Asik or brought back reserves from last season with big contracts, like Korver or Watson, the Bulls would not have been able to sign Kirk Hinrich.''

    ''To even come close to appealing to Hinrich...the Bulls had to get below the luxury tax to use the so called non taxpaying exception, which is above $3 million.''

    Or they could have traded Korver for Hinrich and avoided the hard cap.

    ''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.''

    Well, one financial move that would limit sign-and-trade deals (or just deals in general) would be dumping Richard Hamilton (and not replacing him with some other player with a contract of approximately-equal value). If that happens, then you couldn't combine that contract with Hinrich's then-expiring contract, and maybe one or two others, to make a big trade if one becomes available next season.

    Not to mention that Hamilton is likely one of the best, if not THE best, SG option for this team in the next two years anyway, so they should just keep him. Because, again, it's not just the player you'd have to replace, but that contract as a trade asset as well.

    As far as the use of exceptions, the excuse next year could easily be: ''We can't use those exceptions because it'll hurt 2014 cap space!''

    I don't know, I'm just really suspicious of the Bulls' true motivations right now.

  • Don't be suspicious. Their motivation is to put out the best team they can that comes in at a reasonable price. They aren't going to go all in to win. They are going to make sure they bank tons of money and do the best they can while doing so.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Sadly, you're probably right. It's just that I've been trying to be as open-minded as I can be (within reason, of course) with respect to all of the evidence currently available to us. That, even though they certainly look cheap (and I guess technically I would fall into the camp that thinks they are), that maybe (not likely, but maybe) it's all just been some crazy combination of misquoting, coincidence, things being taken out of context, not seeing the reasoning for certain moves/non-moves, etc.

    I also say to myself: ''Certainly this organization recognizes the unique situation that they're in, with the star that they have (which is so difficult to obtain), the roster that they have (even if probably not as good as before), the coach, the management, all of that, so surely they wouldn't be so stupid and/or cheap as to hold back under these special conditions, and especially not after all of those years of losing. Because this is the type of situation where you don't hold back. You go all in in recognition of your good fortune.''

    And then to add to that, you have the fact that your competition - the Heat, Knicks, Nets, Celtics, Lakers, etc. - all either are, or have, shown a clear financial commitment to winning, and how absolutely embarassing and shameful it would be to go cheap in the face of all of that. Surely seeing your competition act that way would be enough to spark some sort of competitive spirit within ownership to respond in kind, right?

    But unfortunately, it's true, right now the signs seem to point in the direction of them being cheap, to one degree or another. I'm just hoping that we're somehow, someway, wrong about them.

  • Another thing I want to comment on is this dumb comparison I've seen between the Knicks not matching Lin and the Bulls not matching Asik, as if just because there are some pointless similarities between the two situations, that it somehow justifies the Bulls not matching Asik. It completely ignores that:

    a. The Knicks actually have a history of spending ALOT of money, whereas the Bulls sit here having never once paid the luxury tax.

    b. Due to the fact that the Knicks have clearly shown that they're willing to spend, it'd be alot easier to argue that not matching Lin was a basketball move for the Knicks than it would be to argue that not matching Asik was a basketball move for the Bulls.

    c. This summer, the Knicks went out and ADDED salary, while the Bulls, for the most part, went on a waiving and dumping spree.

    d. Even if, just for the sake of argument, we were to assume that the normally free-spending Knicks happen to be flipping the script and going cheap for a change, in order to be consistent, wouldn't that mean that the normally not-free-spending Bulls would have to flip the script as well and NOT be going cheap for a change, which would mean matching their guy?

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