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updated: 7/23/2012 6:42 PM

Hinrich officially on board as Bulls add shooter

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  • It's official: free agent guard Kirk Hinrich has signed a deal to play for the Chicago Bulls next season.

    It's official: free agent guard Kirk Hinrich has signed a deal to play for the Chicago Bulls next season.
    Associated Press


While the return of Kirk Hinrich finally became official Monday, the Bulls added another long-range shooter.

Former New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Marco Belinelli agreed to terms, according to a league source. Reports had the 6-foot-5 native of Italy signing for one or two years, using the bi-annual exception of $1.9 million.

Belinelli, 26, produced a career-best 11.8 points per game last year, while shooting .417 from the field overall and .377 from 3-point range. He's shot better than 40 percent from 3-point land just one in five NBA seasons -- that was 2010-11, when he played alongside all-star point guard Chris Paul.

Belinelli's most memorable NBA moment may have been his first summer league game in 2007, when he erupted for 37 points and hit 14 of 20 shots from the field. He spent two years with Golden State and one with Toronto before joining the Hornets in 2010.

Hinrich will be re-introduced Tuesday at the Berto Center. The veteran guard played for the Bulls from 2003-10 before being traded to Washington in what amounted to a salary dump so the Bulls could pursue LeBron James and another high-profile player in free-agency.

Hinrich, 31, was traded to Atlanta midway through the 2010-11 season and struggled last season after needing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He's still the Bulls' all-time franchise leader in 3-point baskets.

The addition of Belinelli will give the Bulls 12 players under contract. Former Atlanta forward Vladimir Radmanovic signed as a free agent last week and the Bulls also have a verbal commitment from ex-Oklahoma City center Nazr Mohammad, according to a league source.

The addition of Mohammed, a Chicago native, seems to suggest that the Bulls are ready to let center Omer Asik move on to Houston. Asik signed an offer sheet worth a reported three years and $25.1 million, including a third-year salary of $14.9 million. The Bulls have until Tuesday night to decide whether or not to match the offer.

In the meantime, the Bulls wrapped up the Las Vegas summer league with a 1-4 record, but they received a nice performance from first-year small forward Jimmy Butler. He was the league's fourth-leading scorer at 20.8 points per game.

Rookie point guard Marquis Teague had a rough experience in Vegas, shooting 29 percent from the field while averaging 10.6 points, 3.0 assists and 3.8 turnovers.

But the Bulls may have uncovered a hidden gem in 6-9 power forward Malcolm Thomas, who led the summer league in rebounds at 12.4 per game. After playing sparingly in the Vegas opener, Thomas averaged 13.3 points and 14.5 rebounds in the last four contests.

Thomas was undrafted a year ago out of San Diego State. He spent a short time playing in Korea, joined the Lakers for training camp, appeared briefly in three games for San Antonio and played for three different D-League squads.

In Game 1 of the D-League championship series, Thomas grabbed 25 rebounds. The Bulls are thought to be interested in bringing Thomas to training camp, but figure to have competition.

• Mike McGraw will have more on Hinrich and the Bulls later today.

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