Bulls to send Hinrich to Wizards
Another NBA draft brought another flurry of trade activity Thursday, with the Bulls setting up a deal that will put guard Kirk Hinrich in a Washington Wizards uniform and free up enough cap space to make Chicago a major player in free agency.
The Bulls will move Hinrich and the 17th pick in the draft -- Kevin Seraphin, a 6-foot-9, 20-year-old forward who last played in France -- to the Wizards. The Associated Press reported that Chicago will get a future second-round pick.
Sources with knowledge of the Bulls' plans told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that moving Hinrich will enable Chicago to pursue two maximum-salary players in the free-agent market, which opens after midnight on July 1.
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Trades cannot be consummated officially until July 8, when the salary cap takes effect. The Wizards will have room under the cap to absorb Hinrich's $9 million contract without having to send Chicago anything of similar value.
Seraphin may not be ready to play in the league for a year or two.
The Bulls would not confirm the trade. In a statement released Thursday night, general manager Gar Forman said "we are not at liberty to identify the team that we are talking to or reveal any other specifics of potential trades. Therefore, we will have no comment on this selection until we have completed all trade discussions."
Since the Bulls and Wizards have 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, Bucher reports.
In other draft-night deals:
Bledsoe was originally selected by the Thunder with the 18th pick.
He averaged 11.3 points, 2.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds as a freshman last season. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder from Birmingham, Ala., gave the Clippers a second player chosen in the first round. They took Al-Farouq Aminu of Wake Forest as the eighth overall pick.
The Clippers took guard Willie Warren of Oklahoma with the 54th overall pick in the second round.
• University of Washington swingman Quincy Pondexter is headed to New Orleans after being taken with the No. 26 pick.
Pondexter was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder but will go to the Hornets in a trade that netted New Orleans a pair of first-round picks. The Hornets also get Iowa State forward Craig Brackins, the 21st overall pick.
The Mavericks used cash to pry Jones from Memphis, which had two other first-round picks. Dallas still had the 50th overall pick Thursday night. The amount of money was not immediately disclosed, but likely was around the league's $3 million maximum.
Jones is a 6-foot-5, 216-pound guard who left South Florida after his junior year. He was a first-team All-Big East selection, averaging 21.4 points per game last season.
Team owner Mark Cuban tweeted: "We tried to trade into the top 20 to get (Jones), got lucky to get him 25."
The Hawks agreed to trade Texas forward Damion James, taken with Atlanta's No. 24 pick, to New Jersey for one of the Nets' two first-round picks, Xavier guard Jordan Crawford, the 27th pick. The Hawks also receive the No. 31 pick, center Tibor Pleiss of Germany.
The Hawks then traded the rights to Pleiss to Oklahoma City for financial considerations.
The 6-foot-7 James averaged 18 points and 10.3 rebounds as a senior with the Longhorns. Crawford led Xavier with a 20.5 point average.
• The Minnesota Timberwolves selected forward Luke Babbitt from Nevada with the 16th pick and traded him and veteran forward Ryan Gomes to the Portland Trail Blazers for guard/forward Martell Webster.
Webster averaged 9.4 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Blazers last year and immediately upgrades the athleticism for Minnesota.
Gomes spent the past three seasons in Minnesota after coming over from Boston in the Kevin Garnett trade. He averaged 10.9 points and 4.6 rebounds last year.
• The Wolves traded the rights to forward Trevor Booker (No. 23) and the rights to center Hamady Ndiaye (No. 56) to the Wizards for the rights to forward Lazar Hayward (No. 30) of Marquette and forward Nemanja Bjelica (No. 35) of Serbia.
Indiana took Florida State's Ryan Reid with the 57th pick, then sent it to Oklahoma City, along with some cash, for Rolle. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 13.9 points and 8.4 rebounds and led the Western Athletic Conference with 2.1 blocks per game.
The 24-year-old transferred from LSU before redshirting, then having two strong seasons for the Bulldogs.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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