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Thursday, May 30, 2013
Bulls player review: Kirk Hinrich

By Nick Friedell

Nick Friedell looks at each player on the Chicago Bulls roster and how they fit in for the future.

Kirk Hinrich
Kirk Hinrich missed 22 games because of injuries during the regular season and eight more in the playoffs.

Kirk Hinrich


2012-13 salary: $3,941,000 Age: 32 | Season stats: 7.7 ppg, 5.2 apg

Season recap: Hinrich's whole season was consumed by injuries. He missed 22 games because of various ailments and didn't stay on the floor long enough to be counted on for long stretches. Just when the Bulls thought he had turned a corner, he usually got injured again. During the first two months of the season Hinrich struggled not only to stay on the floor, but to find his shot. He bounced back after that and provided the Bulls with a solid spark down the stretch. But his season will be remembered because of the toll that was taken on his body.

Season highlight: Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Hinrich scored 18 points and dished out 14 assists in almost 60 minutes during the Bulls' triple overtime win. It was Hinrich's last game of the season -- he sat out the rest of the postseason with a calf injury.

Season lowlight: Aside from all the injuries, Hinrich's worst game of the season might have come on Dec. 18 against the Memphis Grizzlies. In 31 minutes, he went 2-for-8 from the field, turned the ball over four times and fouled out.

Final grades: Regular season: C Postseason: B-

Notes: Hinrich was a widely respected figure in the Bulls' locker room -- so much so that backup guard Nate Robinson used to salute the "The Captain" as he ran out for pregame introductions. Like many of his teammates, Hinrich tried to play through injury, but there were too many of them piled up over time.

Quotes: "We all know what Kirk brings to this team," Bulls center Joakim Noah said after the triple overtime win in Game 4 against Brooklyn. "It's obvious. He's one of the best perimeter defenders in this league. The way he controls the offense ... Kirk is a big, big, big, big factor in this series."

What's next?: If Hinrich can get healthy over the summer, he'll be in a much better spot once the Bulls hit training camp. That's because he'll likely be asked to play 20-25 minutes a game instead of the 30-35 he was being asked to play without Derrick Rose on the floor. Hinrich likely will come into camp as the backup to both Rose at the point guard position and Jimmy Butler at the two-guard position. One of the reasons the Bulls were so eager to sign Hinrich last summer was because of his ability to play with Rose. The Bulls are hopeful that Hinrich won't need surgery to fix the calf injury he sustained in the Nets series.