The Celtics and agent Arn Tellem, who represents Kris Humphries, have had preliminary conversations about a new contract for Humphries in the offseason, reports Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge said last week that he’d spoken to Humphries directly about a return for next season. The two sides can’t sign an extension, since the power forward is only on a two-year contract, and Ainge said he can’t make promises at this point, given the uncertainty surrounding the rest of the team. Tellem understands Ainge’s position, Murphy writes, but the Celtics boss is a fan of Humphries, who reiterated his desire to remain in Boston.
“Look at the direction we’re heading in,” Humphries said. “Obviously this year there was disappointment. But [coach] Brad [Stevens is] a winner, Ainge has proven to be a winner on multiple levels. The organization and fans are great. The chance to be part of a playoff team here will be great. I think it’s possible. Ultimately it comes down to what the players do, but it’s one of those things where you get comfortable somewhere, and hopefully you can be there for a while and have success.”
The Celtics were reportedly eyeing a sign-and-trade of Humphries this summer shortly after the trade deadline, and he’s recently been identified on a list of players likely to change teams in the offseason. He was open to a trade away from Boston early this season, his first with the Celtics after they acquired him in last summer’s Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce blockbuster, but he’s clearly warmed to the idea of sticking around.
Humphries is in the final season of a two-year, $24MM deal he signed with the Nets in 2012. He clearly won’t see nearly as much this time around, given his decline in playing time the past couple of seasons, but the 29-year-old’s size and efficient play should have multiple teams at his door, as our Zach Links wrote when he examined Humphries’ free agent stock.