Atlanta Update: Hawks acquire PG Kirk Hinrich in Five-Player Trade
February 24, 2011 1 Comment
Seemingly, the Hawks front office heard our points.
Last night, the Hawks acquired Washington Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich and center Hilton Armstrong for point guard Mike Bibby, rookie guard Jordan Crawford and forward Maurice Evans (ESPN News Link). The Wizards also received a first-round selection from the Hawks.
The Hawks desperately needed an upgrade from the aging Bibby. Averaging 9.4 points per game and 3.6 assists, the 32-year old veteran was no longer able to compete defensively against the younger guards dominating Eastern Conference play and wasn’t meshing with his own team at the level he previously had. However, the Wizards view Bibby as an excellent tutor to their young point guard, number one overall draft pick John Wall. The tutoring Bibby can do in an environment where the Wizards aren’t ready to compete is exactly what management had hoped for in the trade.
In Hinrich, the Hawks received an athletic guard who can excel at both guard positions and opens up what the team can do in the fast break. While playing alongside Wall, Hinrich averaged 11.1 points per game and 4.4 assists. With the Hawks, Hinrich will be immediately inserted into the starting rotation and will look to add some offensive punch to a strong base that includes Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford. More importantly, Hinrich, known for his strong defensive play, will be able to match up properly against other points in the East. The team also expects second-year guard Jeff Teague to pick up the slack off the bench with Crawford and Evans both leaving Atlanta for DC.
Looking at this trade today, it appears to be an immediate win for both teams. The Wizards add the veteran leadership the team desired to help mold John Wall. The Hawks added a younger pair of legs that can keep up defensively with the other guards in the East, all while not having to give up too much in terms of talent.
With the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets both making huge moves the same day, it will be interesting to see if the stealth acquisition of Hinrich will help steady the ship in Atlanta.