(WSCR) When the Washington Wizards visit the United Center Saturday night to face the Bulls, it will mark Kirk Hinrich’s first return to Chicago since being traded in the offseason.
The Bulls’ all-time leading three-point shooter has found himself in a similar situation in Washington, albeit on a team that is not nearly as good. Hinrich has started every game for the Wizards (2-4) this season while also mentoring Washington’s No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall.
Like the Bulls’ Derrick Rose, Wall is an electric, score-first point guard who played one season of college ball under John Calipari before being taken first in the NBA Draft. Hinrich was a mentor for Rose in Chicago before being traded and is undertaking a similar role with Wall.
Some argue the Bulls (4-3) are missing a guy like Hinrich – a reliable veteran presence who can play good enough defense – but Keith Bogans is filling that role nicely this season. Bogans had six steals and 14 points in the Bulls’ 120-90 win over Golden State Thursday.
Hinrich is averaging 11 points and 3.8 with the Wizards and should receive a hearty ovation from Bulls fans after scoring 6,968 points in seven seasons in Chicago.
But while eyes will be on Hinrich before Saturday’s game, it’s likely most of the attention will turn toward the battle between Rose and Wall during the game. Rose is averaging 23.6 points and 9.7 assists per game this year while Wall is averaging 19.3 points and 10.2 assists.