CLEVELAND -- The Chicago Bulls traded Kirk Hinrich to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday as part of a three-way deal. The Bulls also receive a second-round pick from the Utah Jazz and swingman Justin Holiday from the Hawks. Veteran Shelvin Mack went to the Jazz to complete the deal. The Bulls also have a trade exception worth about $2.8 million that will expire in a year.
"I really enjoyed Kirk," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said before Thursday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. "I got to know him in the offseason and spent some time with him. Just a great teammate, has done a lot of wonderful things for this franchise. He'll be missed. He did a lot of things for us.
"At the same time we understand this is a business, and I think when you're in this league and have the experience of being a player, these types of things happen. So the biggest thing for us is our team, we got to band together. An opportunity for somebody to step up and hopefully go on a run these last 30 games."
The move serves as a money-saving maneuver for a Bulls team that has underperformed all season and comes into Thursday night's game against Cleveland with a 27-25 record.
Hinrich is making almost $3 million this season and is averaging 3.8 points and 1.7 assists a game. This will mark his second stint with the Hawks -- he was traded from Washington to Atlanta in 2011 and spent parts of two years with Atlanta.
Holiday was in his first season with the Hawks after spending last season with the Golden State Warriors. The 26-year-old Holiday was averaging 2.4 points in 10.1 minutes per game and is shooting just 32.9 percent from the field.
The Hinrich deal came as a mild surprise right before the Thursday afternoon deadline just because much of the focus of the Bulls' short-term future centered the possibility of All-Star Pau Gasol heading to Sacramento as part of a larger deal. Ultimately, the Bulls decided to keep Gasol, sticking to the organization's long-held belief that they wouldn't deal the big man without getting pieces of significant value in return.
Hinrich was very well regarded within the Bulls' locker room and has been open in years past about his love for playing in Chicago. He was a first-round draft pick of the Bulls in 2003.