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Bulls clear space, send Hinrich, 17th pick to Wizards

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst
Posted Jun 24 2010 5:52PM

The Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls have agreed to a trade that will send Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich and Chicago's first-round pick, 17th overall, to Washington for a future second-round pick, a league source confirmed Thursday. The deal will clear Hinrich's $9 million salary off of the Bulls' salary cap for next season, as well as the $1.3 million in guaranteed first-year money they would have had to pay their first-round pick, and reduce Chicago's payroll for next season to $22.8 million--which would, if the current projection of a $56.1 million salary cap for the 2010-11 season holds, allow the Bulls to be able to sign two maximum salaried free agents starting next week.

The Wizards have coveted the 29-year-old Hinrich for several seasons, wanting his veteran presence in their backcourt and his ability to play both guard spots. Besides his on-court skill Washington believes that Hinrich can be a solid mentor for John Wall, whom the Wizards will take with the first pick in tonight's NBA Draft. Hinrich was a good instructor for Derrick Rose, the Bulls' star guard who was also taken first overall in the Draft two years ago.

The deal also gives Washington some flexibility in case Gilbert Arenas does not return to form following last season's 50-game suspension that he received from NBA Commissioner David Stern after the infamous guns in the locker room incident with former teammate Javaris Crittenton. The Wizards now will have a solid three-guard rotation and will not bring back veteran Randy Foye next season.

Washington also has three first-round picks. The Wizards had been trying to get a pick in the teens in addition to their first overall pick and the 30th and last pick in the first round.

Chicago is competing with New York and Miami to sign two of this summer's coveted free agents. The Knicks have already cleared enough room to sign two, and Miami is methodically working its way toward that amount. The Heat traded Daequan Cook and the 18 pick in the first round Wednesday to Oklahoma City for a non-guaranteed second-round pick, and it is negotiating a restructuring of sorts with swingman James Jones that would free up another $100,000 to $200,000. Jones has three years left on his contract, but it is only partially guaranteed if he is waived by July 1, according to a league source. The Heat could save another $2.78 million for next season by waiving Jones outright, but are currently trying to negotiate some kind of frontloaded deal that will get Jones all of the $5.9 million in guaranteed money he is due over the next three seasons while clearing additional cap room now for the start of next week's free agent bonanza.

In addition, center Joel Anthony reportedly is willing to exercise a free agent clause in his contract, which would get his $885,000 salary off of Miami's books as well, though Anthony might re-sign with Miami for a lower first-year amount.

ESPN.com first reported the trade between Washington and Chicago.

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