Follow the author: @Tay_Col

The Cavs auditioned at least three point guards in a contentious free agent workout session. Invitees included Mario Chalmers, Lance Stephenson and Kirk Hinrich (and possibly Jordan Farmar). Check out Clesportstalk.com for our thoughts on the other free agents.

Hinrich, who turned 36 last month, was drafted 7th overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. He spent seven years in the Windy City before short stints with the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks before going back to Chicago through last season. Kirk was recently traded back to the Hawks but didn’t play much. He would bring a lot more playoff experience to our championship defending roster. Over his 15-year career in the NBA, he’s played in 71 playoff contests over 11 different seasons with the Bulls and Hawks.

The guard’s strengths that earned him this invitation are wide ranging. Over his career, he’s never shot less than 37% in a full season, and he’s a career 38% 3-point shooter. His passing is solid despite not having the best assist numbers. He assists about five field goals a game over his career, and those have steadily declined over the years as his usage dropped. However, Hinrich has other weapons the Cavs can rely on. He’s a great free-throw shooter, his last season in Chicago he shot a career-high 94%. He even managed to go 100% in the playoffs for Atlanta in 2011 and 2012. The Cavs free throw shooting has been very poor this season, perhaps someone with more consistency from the stripe will inspire the slumping Cavaliers.

A peek into how he might play with the Cavs might be his stats from the 2015-16 season with Bulls. He logged about 16 minutes a game, shot 40%, 41% from beyond the arc, 94% for free-throws, got two assists, two rebounds and scored four points. Kirk isn’t going to dominate the headlines like LeBron and Kyrie do, but he can put in solid shifts for the Cavs when Kyrie needs a breather.

What may get Cleveland fans excited is Kirk’s defensive ability. According to a SBNation, Chicago Bulls blog, Blog A Bull, “Hinrich still gets props around the league as a very good perimeter defender from his fellow players because he relentlessly tries to annoy the hell out of other players.” Does this sound familiar? Former Cavs fan-favorite, Matthew “Outback Jesus” Dellavedova, earned his NBA chops by playing hard, physical defense. Kirk has a similar defensive philosophy and it’s shown. Per the same article, Hinrich, was tasked with guarding Steph Curry during a regular season game in 2015. In the 24 minutes, he guarded Steph, Kirk held Curry to 7/15 shooting, 15 points and four turnovers. That’s great for someone in their mid-thirties guarding one of the world’s best shooters.

I wish I knew who the Cavaliers will sign from these free agents. Perhaps there is yet another player out there on their radar? Only time will tell who gets recruited to help pull this team out of its slump. Kirk Hinrich, could be a shrewd pick-up for the Wine and Gold. He’s a tough defender, with a good eye for a pass and knows what it takes to win in pressure situations.

Is he the backup guard to lead our second unit?

 

Follow the author: @Tay_Col

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