Grading The Kirk Hinrich Deal
PG MIKE BIBBY, G JORDAN CRAWFORD, SF MAURICE EVANS, 2011 1ST ROUND PICK
PG KIRK HINRICH, C/PF HILTON ARMSTRONG
WASHINGTON’S GRADE: A-
I absolutely love this deal for the Wizards, and in fact I fail to see any downside. Mike Bibby might no longer be the Mike Bibby of 1998, in fact he’s not even the Mike Bibby of 2008, but he still has a place in the NBA. He can give the Wizards valuable veteran minutes off the bench, while at the same time mentor John Wall. Is there a talent drop off between Hinrich and Bibby? Of course, but it isn’t so much so that it is a real negative for this trade. Bibby was at one time on a higher plateau than Hinrich has been on, making him an even better example for Wall to follow.
The real area where the Wizards win in this trade is with Jordan Crawford and a first round pick in this draft. Crawford was a first round draft pick this past April, and a player I had long hoped the Wizards would acquire. He is an impressive young combo guard, who can create off the dribble, or be deadly sitting behind the arc. Crawford’s numbers don’t jump out at you, but he’s only averaged 10 minutes per game this season, and couldn’t crack the Hawks back court rotation of Bibby, Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford, and Joe Johnson. I’m guessing he fairs better with the Wizards, and he has great developmental potential down the road. While it is a down draft, and it will likely be a pick in the early-to-mid 20’s, the Wizards should still be able to find a quality player there. If not they could always trade the pick for a player, or a future draft consideration.
This was a no-brainer deal for the Wizards as Crawford alone would have been enough to make the trade worthwhile, adding a first rounder was the icing on the cake for Washington. While this move alone doesn’t help make the Wizards contenders, they added two promising young prospects for a player that was superfluous to their team.
ATLANTA’S GRADE: C
I understand the Hawks needed to make some sort of move as they head into the playoffs, but I’m not sure that this is the right move. Hinrich is a little bit better than Bibby, but we aren’t talking about a vast improvement. While barring a major injury they won’t miss Crawford this season, I’m thinking they could miss him next year, when Jamal Crawford is a free agent and likely to leave. I do think that Hinrich could flourish in Atlanta given the level of talent around him, and his unselfish attitude, but I just get the feeling the Hawks will regret this trade. Had they even added another role player I might have understood this deal for their playoff run, but Armstrong is completely inconsequential. He is only going to see minutes if Atlanta is up or down by 20+ points, and even then he’s not going to do much for them. The Hawks may be better this season, but I’m guessing by next year Jordan Crawford alone will have turned the deal in Washington’s favor.