Is he a point guard or a shooting guard, teams have wondered about that his entire career, and he has even played small forward at times.
What teams do know is that he has versatility and skills, and that he is an underrated defender.
At 6-4 and 190 pounds, Hinrich is more of a combo-guard than a tweener. He can run the offense as the point guard or take on the scoring responsibility of the shooting guard.
Hinrich’s play and improvement every year at the University of Kansas got him noticed by NBA teams. In his first season at KU he scored 5.5 points per game, he followed that with seasons of 11.5, 14.8 and 17.3
For his college career, Hinrich averaged around 5 assists and 4 rebounds per game. He also hit a lot of outside shots and his college three-point percentage was 43%.
The Bulls drafted Hinrich with the 7th pick in the 2003 draft. His rookie year was very good and he made the All-Rookie First Team along with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Toronto’s Chris Bosh.
That was a rookie class loaded with talent and Hinrich was high in the rankings of it. Hinrich played many seasons for Chicago, doing what they asked him to do. Some games he was passing a lot, other times he was needed to score, he helped the Bulls win games.
The Bulls wanted to get into the “LeBron Sweepstakes” during the 2010 NBA offseason, or at least clear salary space to try to get Wade, Bosh or another high-profile free agent. With Rose at point guard, Hinrich was someone the Bulls decided to move. Chicago sent out Hinrich and cleared out his salary by sending him to Washington, with the draft rights of Kevin Seraphin and some cash, for Vladimir Veremeenko.
Chicago would use that room under their salary cap to bring in Carlos Boozer, and some other free agents. Washington was happy as they had a veteran guard who could help Wall in his first season in the NBA, and they also got a young player and some money and it didn’t really cost them anything as they had room in their salary cap.
Hinrich gave the Wizards 30 solid minutes of play every game. Sometimes playing alongside Wall, other times acting as his backup, Hinrich shot 45% from the field and averaged 11.1 points and 4.4 assists. Hinrich was someone that contending teams were looking to add before the trade deadline and Atlanta had an offer that Washington accepted.
The Wizards received guards Mike Bibby and Jordan Crawford, small forward Maurice Evans and a first round pick. Atlanta got Hinrich and center Hilton Armstrong. Washington saved money as Bibby agreed to a buyout so he could join Miami, and they received a young prospect in Crawford and the chance to draft another with a future draft pick.
Armstrong, and his unrealized potential, added some size to the Atlanta roster while Hinrich was a big upgrade at point guard. On offense, Hinrich has a similar role to Bibby, which is doing some of the ball-handling but mainly waiting to shoot outside shots as Joe Johnson and Josh Smith control the ball.
With Atlanta, Hinrich is hitting over 40% of his three-point attempts. On defense, Atlanta replace Bibby who was old and slow and considered to be a revolving door on defense who couldn’t stop anyone. Hinrich is a bigger and stronger guard, and a much more capable defender than Bibby.