Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Bulls, Hinrich sign extension

Five-year deal thought to be worth nearly $50 million



Luis M. Alvarez/AP Photo

Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich (12) drives past Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning (33) and guard Gary Payton. The former Kansas University standout scored 26 points - and a five-year, $47.5 million contract extension - Tuesday. The Bulls pummeled the defending champions, 108-66.

— Hours before the regular season began, the Chicago Bulls already had something to celebrate.

Guard Kirk Hinrich and the Bulls agreed Tuesday on a five-year extension, the maximum length allowed under league rules. The deal, which kicks in at the start of next season, is believed to be worth about $47.5 million.

If Hinrich had not accepted the deal by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, he would have become a restricted free agent next summer and the Bulls would have had the opportunity to match any offer. Now, that angst-ridden process can safely be canceled.

"It's a dream come true, completely," Hinrich said. "To be with this organization, an organization that I grew up cheering for and was a big fan of and to be able to provide my family with security, it's just a great day. ... My parents used to scrap pennies to provide for me, and now I'm making almost $50 million playing basketball."

Bulls general manager John Paxson, in a statement released by the team, said Hinrich's "character and commitment" also made him worth keeping long-term.

"This is a very good day for the Chicago Bulls organization," Paxson said.

Hinrich's scoring numbers increased in each of his first three seasons with the Bulls, from 12.0 points per game as a rookie to 15.9 last season, when Chicago won 12 of its last 14 regular-season games.

In 234 games with the Bulls, all but 10 of them as a starter, Hinrich - who was drafted in the first round of the 2003 draft out of Kansas University - has averaged 14.6 points and 6.5 rebounds.

As recently as Sunday, Hinrich said he didn't think the deal would get done in time.


Studogg 13 years, 2 months ago

Good for you, Kirk. Represent for the 'Hawks! I saw him last night against the Heat and he looked great. He deserves this.

actorman 13 years, 2 months ago

Couldn't happen to a classier guy. He's the type of player/person that makes you proud to be a Jayhawk.

Leprechaunking13 13 years, 2 months ago

He'd be a classier guy hd he not snuck out the back of the locker room and signed some autographs while he was back in allen fieldhouse for that game between the bulls and the sonics

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