The Tribune reported on July 8 that Hinrich verbally agreed to a two-year deal, but it's closer to $8 million in value, sources said. Hinrich, who will be reintroduced at a 2 p.m. Berto Center news conference on Tuesday, turned down slightly more money from the Bucks, sources said.
"There were other teams in the picture, however my heart and gut told me that Chicago was the right decision for my basketball career and my family," Hinrich said in a text message. "I'm excited for the opportunity and challenge."
Hinrich, devastated by his June 2010 trade to Washington as the Bulls cleared salary cap space to pursue LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, told the Tribune in March that he'd be open to returning. Hinrich is slated to start at point guard while Derrick Rose recovers from knee surgery, then slide over to back up Richard Hamilton at shooting guard and possibly start there in 2013-14.
The Bulls will add another shooting guard as well, with the imminent signing of Marco Belinelli for the biannual exception of $1.9 million. Belinelli flew to Chicago on Monday for a physical, sources said, and La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Belinelli's deal will be two years for $3.8 million, with the second year a team option.
Because the Bulls used a portion of the $5 million midlevel exception for Hinrich and the biannual exception to sign Bellinelli, it's impossible for the Bulls to match even Asik's $5 million starting salary and stay below the hard cap of $74.3 million. They will pay the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history.
The Bulls also will sign Kenwood Academy product Nazr Mohammed to a one-year, $1.4 million deal to replace Asik, sources said. Once first-round pick Marquis Teague is signed, the Bulls will have 12 players under contract and hope to add one or two more from a group including Malcolm Thomas, Randy Foye, Patrick Beverley and E'Twuan Moore, sources said.
Hinrich, who battled hamstring, eye and torn labrum issues once Washington dealt him to Atlanta, is ecstatic to return.
"My family and I are very excited," he wrote. "I feel good, confident that the previous injuries are behind me."
In a statement, general manager Gar Forman also expressed his pleasure.
"We are pleased to be able to bring Kirk back to Chicago," he said. "His ability to play both spots in the backcourt will help us immensely this season. Kirk's tenacity and passion for the game complement our style of play and we look forward to seeing him back in a Bulls uniform."