In 2014-15 Kirk Hinrich will return for his 10th season with the Chicago Bulls. Although his production is down, he is an extremely important asset to the team.
Last season, Hinrich averaged 9.1 PPG, 3.9 APG and 2.6 RPG, while shooting 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. His shooting numbers were some of the lowest percentages of his career, and he often struggled shooting the three. Before All-Star break, Hinrich shot 29 percent from beyond the arc, a number that improved to 44 percent after.
He was effective going to the basket, on pull-up jumpers and in the mid-range game, but needs to improve the consistency of his 3-point shooting this season.
Hinrich is known for his veteran leadership and his defensive prowess. He is a hard-nosed defender, constantly taking charges, hounding the ball-handler and getting steals. When Derrick Rose went out with a torn meniscus last season, Hinrich was able to step into the starting role and stay healthy.
One contributing factor was a reduction in his minutes. Instead of playing 35-40 minutes, Hinrich would play 25-30 minutes per game. With Rose’s return, Hinrich can still be a serviceable backup and run the offense when called upon.
At 33 years old, Hinrich has certainly seen better days. His reliability makes him a favorite of Tom Thibodeau‘s, but Hinrich will likely see a diminished role this season with the return of Rose and the addition of Aaron Brooks. Hinrich should be able to thrive coming off the bench and running the second unit, while keeping his legs fresh for what the Bulls hope is a deep playoff run.