Hawks happy to add Hinrich’s toughness, experience

While they are sad to see teammates Shelvin Mack and Justin Holiday dealt away, Hawks players are happy to add Kirk Hinrich at the NBA trade deadline.

The Hawks acquired Hinrich from the Bulls in a three-way traded that included the Jazz on Thursday. Mack will join the Jazz and Holiday will join the Bulls.

“It was definitely hard when you lose a couple of your teammates,” Al Horford said. “Shelvin and I, especially, have been teammates for a couple years. He was a great guy in the locker room but at the same time it’s a great opportunity for him out in Utah. At the same time we are getting Kirk (Hinrich) back, who is a guy who is tough and a great competitor. We are excited to have him here.”

Hinrich was scheduled to arrive in Atlanta Friday night for his second stint with the Hawks organization. He will not play in Friday’s game against the Hawks as he must first pass a physical. Hinrich will wear No. 12 with the Hawks.

Jeff Teague and Horford are the only remaining Hawks from Hinrich’s first tenure with the team from 2010-11. Hawks players spoke Friday morning of the toughness and experience Hinrich will bring to the team’s final 27 regular-season games.

Said Horford: “He’s tough. He brings toughness. He can defend. He never makes excuses. He can shoot the ball pretty well from the 3-point line. He’s a guy who is all about winning. You want to surround yourself with those type of players.”

Said Teague: “He’s a great player, a great guy. It’s good to have him around again. I learned a lot from him. He’s somebody I can always lean on. He was nothing but a great teammate when he was here with me.”

Hawks players breathed a sigh of relief Friday that the trade deadline is over and gone are the many distractions that accompanied the nerve-wracking day on the NBA calendar. Now, they can concentrate on the stretch run.

“I’m sure the whole NBA is glad that it’s over with,” Paul Millsap said of the deadline. “I think we’ve made some good changes. Obviously, losing Shelvin hurts us all but I think he’s moving on to better things for himself. Adding Kirk Hinrich is great. I think we are moving in the right direction. I look forward to a great second half of the season.”

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