So far in our Free Agent Stock Watch series, we’ve profiled Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James. Today, we look at Celtics forward Kris Humphries. While it’s true that one of these things is not like the other, the 29-year-old big man could get some serious attention when he hits the open market this summer.
Humphries, a late lottery pick of the Jazz in 2004, had a rather unremarkable career until January of 2010 when he was traded by the Mavericks along with Shawne Williams to the Nets for Eduardo Najera. The Nets quickly discarded Williams, but Humphries was given an opportunity to shine in New Jersey and made the most of it, posting 10 PPG and 10.4 RPG in a then career-high ~28 minutes per contest. Over the next two years, he proved that his stint with the Nets was no fluke as he proved to be a reliable low post scoring option and brought the tenacity on the glass that center Brook Lopez seemed to lack.
The move across the Hudson River over to Brooklyn may have been a step forward for the organization, but it was quickly apparent in the 2012/13 season that Hump left his best basketball in the Garden State. While he was supposed to be a fixture in the Nets rotation after inking a two-year, $24MM deal in July, he was bounced from Avery Johnson‘s rotation and couldn’t reclaim his spot under his replacement, P.J. Carlesimo. After a season to forget, Humphries found himself on the less-glamorous end of one of the biggest trades in NBA history.
Once again, Humphries was able to make the most of his situation as he was (eventually) able to get significant playing time with the rebuilding Celtics. In 20.2 minutes per contest, Humphries has averaged 8.5 PPG and 6.1 RPG and put up a PER of 18.5, an even stronger mark than his best years in New Jersey. The veteran has said that he would like to stay in Boston, but he could see lucrative offers come in from multiple suitors. It’s tough to say where Humphries will wind up, but in a league where size and toughness are valued, the big man should be in line for a nice payday.