Well, the trade deadline has passed and the Bulls – who seemed to be likely to try for some big moves considering the sad underperformance of their current roster – made only one move and it was not a doozy. Iowa native (and Sioux City High School legend) Kirk Hinrich was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in return for a second-round draft pick.
I honestly do not understand the logic behind this trade for the Bulls. Hinrich is certainly not a star. But he was the Bulls’ most competent backup point guard and that is of potentially great value because their starting point guard Derrick Rose is notoriously injury-prone and even when healthy regularly needs nights off for rest and soreness. I could understand it if the Bulls had traded for a better or younger bench guard but they didn’t, they just received a future pick.
On top of that, Hinrich was a veteran player on a Bulls team that has seen a disturbing lack of on-court leadership. His nickname Captain Kirk persists from his years as the Bulls team captain. With Joakim Noah out for the season, Jimmy Butler sidelined for the next month and Mike Dunleavy just returning for his first games of the year, I’d think the Bulls would want some continuity in the locker room. Or, alternately, if they were just looking to dump some salary then why move Hinrich whose $2.8 million per year is a drop in the bucket?
The Hawks, meanwhile, don’t appear to need an aging backup point guard when they already have two solid guards competing for playing time in the vet Jeff Teague and the young and rising Dennis Schroder.
The Hawks had their own Iowa basketball hero who was implicated in trade talks, the forward Kyle Korver, but he ended up staying in place. And as far as this column is concerned that makes the Hawks one of the more interesting teams in the NBA. We’ll see if two great Iowan hoopers can round out this advanced stage of their careers with a respectable playoff run this year.
McDermott Goes Off for 30 in Bulls Win
Doug McDermott led all scorers last night in a big confidence-boosting win over the surging Toronto Raptors with a massive 30-point performance, the most of his career so far. It was a great sight to see Doug letting it fly with so much authority and seeing how psyched his teammates were about it, especially future Hall of Famer Pau Gasol. Doug has been very streaky this year and a lot has been made of his weaknesses as a defender, which has definitely gotten into his head. His extremely weak shooting night against the Cavaliers on Thursday seemed to follow directly from being embarrassed and confused on defense. That being said, he was a +14 for the night when he was on the floor against the Raptors last night, which indicates that a big offensive performance for him can be enough to offset his defensive liability even against a good team like the Raptors.