Tuesday , Oct , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Hinrich, Bulls reach new deal as new season begins

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Kirk Hinrich accepted Chicago’s final offer on a
long-term contract extension Tuesday, the day the Bulls blew out the Miami
Heat, 108-66, to start the NBA season.

Hinrich led all scorers with 26 points, while Chris Duhon added 20 in the
rout.

With the deadline for negotiating expiring at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, one of the
Baby Bulls’ key cogs decided to sign a new contract extension rather than
become a restricted free agent next off-season.

“Kirk Hinrich is imperative to the foundation of our organization and we are
extremely pleased to have him with us long term. We are attempting to build a
team based on character and commitment and these are both traits that Kirk
possesses at a very high level,” said Bulls general manager John Paxson.

League sources told the Chicago Tribune that the deal is worth $47.5
million and starts next season at $7.8 million. In 2011-12, the deal will
pay the Kansas product $11.42 million.

Chicago entered Tuesday’s season opener with more excitement than any
campaign since the Michael Jordan era. It added defensive stalwart and
rebounding fiend Ben Wallace from Detroit during the free agent period,
putting him with a team that led the league in field-goal percentage against
last season.

Paxson also rid the hefty contract of Tyson Chandler, shipping the big man
to New Orleans/Oklahoma City in a deal that brought back veteran forward P.J.
Brown.

Hinrich is unquestionably Chicago’s floor leader, best ball-handler and one of
its primary scorers. The guard averaged a career-best 15.9 points per game
with 6.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds last season, and has totaled 14.6 points per
game throughout his brief three-year career.

CHI