Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

A few words on Kirk Hinrich

With the Bulls currently sitting at 8-14, outside the top eight even in the extremely accommodating Eastern Conference, it's fair to say things in Chicago have come off the rails, putting Vinny Del Negro's job in question. Put simply, the Bulls can't score, ranking 28th in points per 100 trips (98), 29th in effective field goal percentage (44.6), 28th in three point percentage (29.5), and so on. While that might interest John Q. Lakers fan only in the very short term (through this evening, specifically), when it comes to personnel, the Bulls have one guy whose name pops up a lot when discussing potential upgrades for LA's backcourt- Kirk Hinrich.

If this report from Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus is any indication, those hoping to see the pride of Sioux City in purple and gold might want to proceed with caution:

"...Before Saturday's game, a reporter asked Vinny Del Negro about Kirk Hinrich's physical ailments. There were so many, that Del Negro drew a blank on the last couple. The thin Bulls need Hinrich's contributions off the bench desperately, as he is still the team's best perimeter defender. However, there is more plaguing Hinrich's game than injuries. He seemingly has lost his ability to hit the outside shot. A career 38 percent three-point shooter, Hinrich is just 13-of-46 (.283) this season. However, he hasn't been much better inside the arc, hitting 36 percent. Hinrich is 5-of-27 since returning last week after two weeks off with a wrist problem, among other things. Hinrich is averaging a career-low 7.9 points per game and has a career-worst .406 True Shooting Percentage. Largely because of Hinrich's absences and ineffective play, the Bulls' second unit has been getting drilled during the team's recent slump..."

Thinking out loud here, continuing below...

Hinrich is an intriguing player. At 28, he's hardly old, is a very solid defender on the perimeter, has good size particularly when playing at the point, and plays really hard. He's not much of a threat to penetrate into the lane and doesn't generate a ton of assists, but in LA's offense, those things aren't really an issue. If he bounces back, Hinrich could theoretically slide into a starting point guard role next season. That said, he's having an atrocious year, and even when factoring in all of the physical ailments that have plagued him this season has regressed, at least statistically, from his best year in '06-'07.

Nor is he cheap, earning almost $10 million this season, $9 mil the next, and $8.5 during the 2011-12 campaign. That's a lot of payroll to add for a guy who isn't, again looking at the numbers, a massive upgrade over what they have now in Derek Fisher and Co. Hinrich is an upgrade defensively over Fish and certainly is better than Jordan Farmar, but considering the Lakers would likely have to add players to the roster after making a hypothetical deal (say Adam Morrison, Farmar, and either Josh Powell or DJ Mbenga- tradeologists feel free to work something else, but try to be realistic. Would the Bulls take Morrison and Sasha Vujacic? I guess it's possible...), the financial costs could be far too high. Keep in mind LA's salary obligations for next season, already lofty without fielding a full roster, and an extension for Pau Gasol in the not-so-distant-future. 

Plus, that swap would rob the Lakers of their best floor-pushing guard, leaving them with almost nobody in the backcourt who can confidently handle the ball and push pace.

If Hinrich's current performance was less an aberration and more the start of a trend, the Lakers would be screwed. Personally, I don't like the risk. Fun to talk about, but strikes me as more "cure" than the disease- keep in mind it's all relative when talking about a very, very good team- warrants. Even if he returns to decent form, stays healthy and plays good D, is Hinrich going to be that much better than the player Lakers hope Shannon Brown can be, at least on the defensive side of the floor? Is Hinrich, particularly as measured in the millions of dollars in costs between the two, appreciably better right now? Even if Brown opts out after this season and re-signs in LA, it won't be nearly at the cost of Hinrich. That certainly matters.

I've said for a while that in the end, I think the Lakers are likely to end the season with a very similar roster to the one they have now. If Morrison can turn into some sort of Shannon Brown type deal, where he's flipped for a guy with low risk financially and a some upside, Mitch Kupchak could pull the trigger. But in terms of high priced, high profile deals? I don't see it. The Lakers don't need anything, and are better off working on the margins rather than doing something that could hinder their already bright long term future.

Fun stuff to kick around, though.


Comments () | Archives (32)

The comments to this entry are closed.

they can tinker. our PG spot is just dodgy and I'm just not convinced with Farmar.

Love Shannon and this absolutely must be the last year Fisher starts.

I don't know if Hinrich is the guy, but we are really asking for someone to off the bench who can play hard, play D and hit 2 to 3 baskets a game. Sad that Sasha or Ammo can't do it. I hope one of those two gets the floor time or just trade them already. What's the point!

Not going to happen.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Any reason you posted the quoted article twice in succession? Just wanted to hammer the message home? Copy & Paste fail?

Yeah, I really wanted to drive the point home. :)

Copy/paste gone haywire. Since fixed. Thanks.


ya, he's been playing pretty bad. I've had my hopes that the Lakers would pick him up somehow well before Fish got back to the team. Just thought he'd fit, and I always appreciated the fact that he;s able to play Dwayne Wade on defense.

IMO, I'd like to think he'd find his game, but for that much money, the point guard triumvirate we have now is better at guarding against injury AND giving us different looks. Its not the most important position on the Lakers either, even at starter.

And to be fair, little guards have stolen games from us. Aaron Brooks, Steve Nash, Chauncey, Jameer, etc. However, they've never won a series against this core of players and I don't see it happening in the future.

Just have Lamar be the PG. Think how tall they would be!!!!

"Would the Bulls take Morrison and Sasha Vujacic? I guess it's possible...".....

i'm sorr... I know the Bulls management has made some questionable moves and non-moves the past few year, but I don't think in a million years they take on Morrision and Sasha for Kirk.....gave me a good laugh though.

To be honest,

I'm not in favor of any trade for a pg.

The chemistry b/n Farmar & Brown is nice.
Farmar knows the triangle. I like the home town angle.

I'm a fan of organic growth. Unless we can get Aaron Brooks
or someone better. :)

Piggybacking onto BK's thoughts...

To me, if you were even debating the Hinrich swap (and I wouldn't make the move, but for the sake of the coin's other side), the matter revolves heavily around Shannon Brown and where he fits in down the road. Even if you aren't yet convinced he's the starting PG of the future, if you think he COULD BE, then you don't make that deal. If it takes another season or so, I think the Lakers would be content to retain SB (which I imagine they would- and definitely should- do in any event) and give him another year, maybe in Jordan Farmar's current role (more on ball than off), if JF isn't retained (and I've been on record with the opinion that he won't be).

I think this scenario with Shannon becomes feasible especially since I've always felt that no matter how this offseason shakes out, Derek Fisher will be resigned. I've written before that I picture him entering a series of contracts like Brian Shaw's in the early decade. One-year deals, reasonable money, for as long as he's able to provide quality minutes, whether with the first and second unit. Fish and the Lakers have a great relationship, and I doubt this would be hard for them to work out. And while Fish may not be the ideal starting PG (the position is no doubt the team's weakest link), the team is clearly not "hurting" with him in the rotation. They're an elite team now and I think would be elite even with Fish starting next season. It's not my first choice, but it's not my last, either. And because of that availability of Fisher, I think the situation becomes more flexible for the Lakers. Not to mention exceptionally more affordable.


K Bros, what happened to the Bulls? After that series against C's last year, it looked like they might be going somewhere. Is this all about losing Ben Gordon?

Interesting post. So, here's how I see it. Fish and Hinrich are pretty much even when it comes to ppg and mpg. Fish has an advantage in field goal pecentage and 3-pt percentage. He has a huge advantage in FT percentage. Plus be's got 4 rings and costs half as much. And, he takes a charge like nobody else, is a team leader and has a relationship with Kobe that money can't but. And last but not least, he can and will lay Scola out. So, my choice would be to ride Fish until he and Phil decide he can't play anymore.

Makes too much.


I think Gordon's absence is the single biggest factor in the Bulls' struggles. It's not just that he's a scorer. He's a scorer that you have to account for at EVERY place on the court for EVERY second he's on the court. He makes ridiculous shots, particularly in crunch time. They have absolutely nobody who comes close to replacing that. Even Rose isn't a true "go to" scorer (if anything, he's under fire a lot these days for deferring too much). Gordon adds a dangerous element all good teams need.


As a refresher, how is Shannon's contract structured? I just wonder how likely it would be for him to sign elsewhere for more money.

I am really a big fan of Kirk Hinrich and from the start of the season, I wanted the Lakers to explore a trade to acquire this guy. BUT seeing his numbers and injuries this year, I am starting to think that it is not a good idea. Having said that, this guy was on the USA Basketball team. I mean he can recover from this start.

I personally thought it was a stroke of genius by Mitch to have Fisher's contract come off the books at the same time as Farmar was up for an extension.

to have the potential to resign both players, but to switch the salaries (i.e. Farmar would get Fish level money and Fisher would get Farmar level) was nice.

Also, in the event that Farmar doesn't pan out, we do have Morisson's expiring contract to trade for a potential replacement PG, so - at the very least - Mitch has given himself options.

I'm of the opinion that the Lakers might well retain Farmar, but only if he's assured of a starting spot next season.

I'm also of the opinion that he'll need to improve a fair bit before the Lakers would even consider that.

On a related tangent, I get why Turiaf left, and I wouldn't be surprised if Powell left after this season for the same reasons, but for Farmar to leave to get more playing time?

I'd hope that he is getting overpaid in that event, because LA's back court isn't THAT crowded.

And last but not least, he can and will lay Scola out.
Posted by: dave m |

A great point dave m.


do you know who else was on the USA Basketball team?

Mike Miller

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Is Fish getting abused more than we watched Smush get abused, or Farmar? No, he's playing fine team defense. He's an important team leader and mainly, he's clutch. I trust Fish more than I trust any other PG that has graced the hardwood since...Fish. As far as the Lakers are concerned.

Hinrich battles his body year after year. He's always working his way into shape during the season. This indicates a lack of commitment to oneself and the team. Not what we need.

Big mistake in not resigning Ben Gordon. Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon was a great backcourt combo, they were clicking last year.

Bulls should give up the season and make trades for expiring contract. They still have a lot of trade chips. They should only keep Noah, Gibson and Rose.

They can get trade for Salmons, Heinrich, Thomas and Pargo.

They should start with signing Dwayne Wade next year and Jeff VanGundy as Coach. That will put them back in the elite category. Loose the season and get into draft lottery.

Miller was used as a shooter only. Hinrich had more responsibilities.

In a recent chat over at Hoopsworld Wade said he wants to play for Championships......

Thats what they all say right?...If you really mean it Mr Wade how about dropping by Laker town and signing on the dotted line for the full mid-level...

RING RING.....RING RING...Hello its your ring host....How can i help you MR WADE?......

As a long-time proponent for Kirk Hinrich, I feel compelled to chime in here, though I should be contributing more regularly anyway :)

A couple of points, in no particular order:

1. Hoopshype has his salary at 9.5, 9.0 and 8.0M for the next three years (including this one). Not that it's too much of a difference, but still that makes his "value" a little more palatable.
2. The real question to me is this - who will be our starting PG next year on? I'm not convinced it's Farmar, though I like how he drives the second unit. Given his preference to push the ball, I doubt if he fits in that well with the first unit. Shannon is ok, but not there yet, and I agree that Fish will be back, but with reduced minutes (and I'm afraid of his effectiveness playing 10-15 minutes a game). So, if it's none of the three, we need to identify who our starting PG (as in, who will play a majority of the minutes at that spot).
3. I like Hinrich for his ability to defend, hit the open shot and handle the ball (in no particular order).
4. I agree that his numbers are looking down, but I suspect that has to do with the injuries and the issues that Chicago is facing.
5. I love his size and ability to guard the SGs like Wade - think of how it will lighten the load on Kobe even more!
6. If his effectiveness has dropped because Ben Gordon is not around anymore to skew the attention of the defense, think of how it will be back up when playing with Kobe/Pau/Drew/Ron on that first unit.
7. Having an expiring 8M chip in 2 years time will be a nice luxury to have.
8. What do you think Jordan will ask for next year? Will we want to continue as a backup PG? Think of what he stated over the summer and what the K Bros referenced a couple of posts ago? Are you sure he will come back?
9. If the general consensus is that he isn't worth much, why do you think other teams will pay more for him? Given his general lack of productivity, why will Chicago want to keep paying him starter money for back-up guard minutes?

Bottom-line, I think his effectiveness will spike up to his career numbers once he shakes loose of his injuries and will be further enhanced in a framework like ours.

Given the malaise that is affecting Chicago right now, something has to give. That, plus the "summer of 2010", when teams like Chicago are hoping to shed as much salary as possible with the intent to attract a marquee FA.

Other players I like:

1. Corey Brewer (another potential Ariza)
2. Mike Miller (can play all three perimeter spots)
3. Andres Nocioni - though not as a PG :)

Hinrich's defense is SUPERIOR when compared to Shannon. Shannon is mediocre on defense, though many people seem to falsely believe he is better than average it simply isn't the case. He is not that good and gets blown by. He leaves his man plenty of times. I dont think Shannon is a good long term solution either, but he's cheaper than the price Hinrich would come at so for now I'm content. The Lakers need to get that point guard situation figured out sooner or later though.

Unless we can be sure his injury problems are not a career-long trend, he might be a good option at some point. Hinrich is a great defender, but is he really good at defending the ultra-quick PGs (more than Brooks, I fear guys like Ty Lawson, Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn)?

Fish is a weak link in many ways, but as long as he is in shape and healthy enough to give good minutes, he is indispensable. NO ONE ELSE on the Lakers has the guts, or the permission, to take clutch shots when Kobe just can't do it. Think about game 4 of the finals last year. Who on the Lakers is going to take that shot besides Fish? If he misses, he has the clutch pedigree and enough respect from Kobe for it to be an OK decision. No one else on the team has that. The Lakers need one guy who doesn't always defer to Kobe no matter what, and who can shoot from outside. Maybe Artest can get there, maybe even Brown at some point.

The Lakers have won a lot with Fish, even when he struggles. He knows which pass to make to initiate the triangle. He makes key steals. He hits clutch shots. And he isn't afraid of 24. Who else is going would fit that niche?

I would really like to see Andre Miller on this team or Beno Udrih.

Count me among those who have been hoping they'd find a way to bring Captain Kirk over to the Lakers. I like his toughness and defense. I also think that a lot of his shooting troubles this year are due to injuries and the lack of scorers on the Bulls roster. I think he's a great fit in the triangle and would allow them to use more of a switching defense on the perimeter. He's actually pretty quick, but I agree he might have some trouble against Paul, Parker, Brooks, etc. They wouldn't trade Fisher to get him so he'd still be around for crunch time. To be honest, when I look at Farmar and Brown, I don't see a future starter. (Well, maybe a future starter on another team for Farmar...) I like Jordan as a second unit guy to push the ball, but I still don't think he's much of a defender and that's the most important thing they need from him. As for Brown, I think people are overrating him. Sure, he's an incredible athlete, but his handle is shaky and I don't think he's as good of a defender as we all want him to be. I'd rather take my chances with Hinrich still in his prime than with Farmar or Brown. The biggest concern to me is the money. Sending Morrison's expiring contract might be tough, but if we could send Sasha over there, it would make things easier. I realize he has another year on his deal, but that would still give Chicago another $4 off the books for next summer in their efforts to sign a max deal guy. That being said, it's not my money so I don't blame them if they don't pursue anything like that. Maybe someone cheaper like Keyon Dooling (once he's healthier...)

I have to say that some of the folks in the pro-Hinrich camp make a good argument, and certainly he played well last night. He looked healthy and mobile, and knocked down some shots. I'm still a little hung up on the money aspect of things, and how much it would cost to fill in around him (the Lakers would have an incredible expensive bunch of dudes under contract next season, and would still need to add players just to hit roster minimums).

I praised his D in the post, and noted the fit... hey, it's not my money, right? Maybe I undersold him a little at least as it relates to on-court questions. But the payroll thing is impossible to escape.


Trade Morrison and Vujacic for Hindrich; Bulls save $5M on Adams exp. contract and Shorter contract for Vujacic which they can use as exp. contract to trade next year.
Kobe=$24,806,250;Gasol=$17,822,187;Bynum=$13,842,332; Odom=$8,200,000; Artest=$6,322,320 ;Walton=$5,260,000;
Hindrich=$9,000,000; Brown=$2,210,000;
Fisher=$1,352,181(League min. for vet 10+);Powell=$959,111;
Mbenga=$959,111; 2players with league min.=$473,604
Total Salary 2010-11:$91,680,700
current year salary 2009-10: $ 91,377,313

I don't know if Hinrich is the guy, but we are really asking for someone to off the bench who can play hard, play D and hit 2 to 3 baskets a game. Sad that Sasha or Ammo can't do it.

Such a few words indeed. But with depth. I do hope he could cope up this time and make some new moves!



In Case You Missed It...


All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



About the Bloggers

Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:

In Case You Missed It...