Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2010-11 Season Review: Kirk Hinrich

The Hawks acquired Kirk Hinirch too late in the season (and Hinrich is too far past his peak) for him to have any real impact on their record but he formed, with Jason Collins and Jamal Crawford, the unlikely triumvirate central to Atlanta's first round playoff upset of the Orlando Magic. Hinrich even timed his season-ending injury such that the outcome of the first series was not put in jeopardy while giving Jeff Teague his first real opportunity to demonstrate that he can play.

Yes, the Hawks gave up a lot to acquire Hinrich, but that's more a giving Mike Bibby a three-year contract problem than a Kirk Hinrich problem. If the Hawks choose to keep Hinrich, he can play alongside either Teague or Joe Johnson, providing useful positional versatility on what figures to be a shallow roster. That positional versatility at both ends of the floor also makes Hinrich the team's second-most valuable* trade asset.

*assuming the team would trade, at most, only one of Josh Smith or Al Horford

Unlike last season, where trading Jamal Crawford in the final year of his contract made theoretical sense but lacked practical plausibility, let's remember that Hinrich was acquired not for Acie Law IV and Speedy Claxton's expiring deal but for Jordan Crawford and a first round pick. If the Hawks decide to deal Hinrich (a decision that may strain credulity as it assumes the Hawks taking a long-term approach to roster and cap management), they might get back some of what they gave up to acquire Hinrich in the first place.

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