Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/13/12

The Bulls traded Kyle Korver to the Atlanta Hawks, putting them one step closer to bringing back veteran guard Kirk Hinrich, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Bulls had talks with Portland and Minnesota break down but wanted to move Korver to avoid paying a $500,000 buyout that would have been triggered Sunday, the deadline for the team to decline a $5 million option on Korver for 2012-13.

Korver fills the Hawks' traded-player exception slot created by dealing Joe Johnson to the Nets, which guarantees the Bulls a second-round pick (via Minnesota) in return.

Hinrich played for the Hawks last season and could be included in the deal as part of a sign-and-trade agreement. Otherwise, he's committed to sign with the Bulls as an unrestricted free agent. If he first signs with the Hawks, the Bulls could retain their $3 million mini midlevel exception.

Korver, 31, averaged 9.5 points per game in his first nine seasons, including the past two with the Bulls. He's a career 41.3 percent shooter from 3-point range and made 43.5 percent in 65 games with the Bulls last season.

Hinrich, 31, was the Bulls' first-round pick in 2003 and a fulltime starter six of his seven seasons in Chicago. He was traded to the Washington Wizards before the 2010 draft, when the Bulls were furiously clearing salary cap space in pursuit of the mega free-agent class led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The Bulls made a push for all three before settling for lesser options, Carlos Boozer and Korver.

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