When the Wizards traded for Kirk Hinrich before the draft, the trade didn't receive very good reviews from fans. They already had Arenas, they knew they were getting Wall, and Hinrich now made three guards who need minutes but are traditionally undersized at the two.
But in considering his redundancy on the court, it was easy to ignore his impact off it. Michael Lee of The Washington Post reports, Flip Saunders is calling him Elmers for the way he ties it all together. He's been the one mentoring John Wall so far, and this is not his first rodeo.
Hinrich, 29, was credited with helping (Derrick) Rose make the transition to the league, which is one of the reasons the Wizards were excited about making the deal for Hinrich after they landed the top draft pick ... "He helps me a whole lot," Wall said.
Before Derrick Rose came in and took his spot, Kirk Hinrich was seen as a very good player in this league; especially on defense. But he lost his starting job, and it's hard to justify a big contract off the bench. So he fell out of favor in Chicago. But for a team with a player that needs molding like John Wall, his presence on the team could be invalvuable.
We shuttered at the thought of Gilbert Arenas being the point guard on the team John Wall would learn from. Some even discussed shipping him out of town to avoid the damage he could do to John Wall's carrer (among many other reasons of course). I'm not sure if we realized that Hinrich would prove to be the good influence we were looking for.
Hinrich and the Wizards face the Bulls tonight, and Kirk will have an opportunity to show his old team what their missing out on. Get ready for a lot of overt displays of leadership from him tonight. That'll show 'em.