Bulls send Hinrich, #17 pick to Wizards

Take that, Miami!

Following in the Heat’s footsteps, the Chicago Bulls are trying to clear even more cap space so they can make a run at two big-name free agents on July 1.

The Chicago Bulls have a deal in place that would move Kirk Hinrich and the 17th pick to the Washington Wizards, freeing up enough cap space to pursue two maximum-salary players on this summer’s free-agent market, sources with knowledge of the Bulls’ plans said Thursday.

It wasn’t immediately clear what Washington would send to Chicago in the trade.

Since it’s a good-faith deal for the time being, there remains a chance it could fall apart. But according to one source, the Sacramento Kings are prepared to make a similar deal with the Bulls in the Wizards’ stead if that were to happen.

Hinrich is a good defender and is talented enough to be the fourth or fifth best player on a contender, so the Bulls are giving up a good player, even though it’s creating the flexibility to sign two max free agents.

Now the Bulls can go to LeBron James and Chris Bosh and offer to sign them both to max or near-max deals to play with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng.

In order to get this much talent together, a team has to have plenty of cap space (check) and 1-2 budding stars that are still on their rookie contracts (check, check). The only con to playing in Chicago is the long shadow of Michael Jordan. Will LeBron want to play in a city where his legacy has almost no chance of measuring up to that of the greatest player ever to play the game?

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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