NBA Rumors: 7 Reasons Kris Humphries Will Get the 76ers over the Hump
The 6'9", 235-pound forward is coming off of the best season of his career; in 2011-12, Humphries averaged 13.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while shooting a solid 48.1 percent from the field.
At 27 years old, Humphries would be an ideal fit for a young Sixers roster that is poised to make some noise in the Eastern Conference. But with the team dangerously close to the salary cap, one of the few ways that Philadelphia could sign Humphries would be to use the NBA's amnesty clause on power forward Elton Brand.
Doing so would free up more than $18 million in cap space next season—more than enough to get a deal with Humphries done. So with that move being a definite possibility this summer, let's take a look at seven reasons why Humphries will get the 76ers over the proverbial "hump" in the Eastern Conference.
1. More Agile Than Elton Brand on Defense
While Elton Brand is a better overall defender, Humphries is far more mobile and athletic and will give the 76ers better flexibility in their defensive sets.
Brand was a liability when asked to guard someone one-on-one, as he simply couldn't keep up with the younger power forwards and centers in the league. Conversely, Humphries is a capable and improving defender who can not only put a body on someone in the post, but also jump out and defend the pick-and-roll as well.
2. Legitimate Low-Post Scoring Option
Philadelphia has lacked a legitimate low-post option for quite some time now, but that would change almost instantly with the addition of Humphries. According to Synergy Sports, in post-up situations last season, Humphries averaged 0.94 points per possession (28th best in the NBA).
With a more consistent option down on the block, the Sixers' wing players would have far more room to operate in their half-court sets, not to mention the fact that the team could develop an effective two-man game between Humphries and point guard Jrue Holiday.
3. Consistent Double-Double Threat
Humphries is one of only five players in the NBA who have averaged a double-double in each of the past two seasons. In 62 games this past year, the 6'9" forward racked up an impressive 29 double-doubles, and he tallied 10 rebounds or more in 38 contests.
Players who can both score and rebound are rare commodities these days, and the Sixers—a team that needs help in both areas—would be well-served if they could land one of those players in Humphries.
4. Just Coming into His Prime
The last two seasons have been the best of Kris Humphries' career, and at just 27 years old, he's finally coming into his prime in the NBA. Adding him to the Sixers' current nucleus would only serve to benefit the team as a whole.
In 2011-12, Humphries logged more than 28 minutes per game for the first time since he entered the league back in 2004. With consistent minutes no longer an issue, Humphries showed that he could be one of the league's more productive players, and that play should continue in Philadelphia.
5. Deadly Transition Threat
There is far more to Humphries' offensive game than just posting up on the block. Last season, the Nets' forward scored 1.33 points per possession in transition, the 35th-best mark in the league.
The 76ers are a team that likes to get out of the fast break, and with a big man who is skilled at diving down the lane and finishing around the rim, Philadelphia's transition attack could be ridiculously fun to watch next year.
6. Salary-Cap Friendly
A reasonable deal for Humphries would likely fall within the $10 million per year range. So, if the Sixers were to amnesty Brand to sign the Nets' forward, they'd still have about $8 million or so to use on other free agents (if they so choose).
A nightly double-double threat at $10 million a season is a pretty good deal, and the fact that it wouldn't prevent Philadelphia from acquiring additional pieces makes it that much more appealing.
7. Will Improve Offense as a Whole
With Humphries on the court last season, the Nets' offense averaged 106 points per 48 minutes. Without him, the team only managed 99.3 points per 48 minutes. While a 6.4 percent decrease in scoring may not seem like much, a margin nearly seven points is often the difference between winning and losing in the NBA.
The Sixers were notoriously bad in close games last year, but with a player like Humphries who improves the offense as a whole, the team probably won't find itself in as many of those situations as it did last season.