“He wants to be here,” King said at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall at the press conference unveiling the team’s All-Star backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. “So now it’s about making the deal work.”
With that said, let's look at why Humphries' potential return is so vital to the Nets making a run at the postseason next spring.
The past three seasons of Kris Humphries' career have been the most productive for the veteran power forward.
Ironically, Humphries has spent these seasons with the Nets and retaining him would show great appreciation for those efforts. In 2009-10, Humphries appeared in 44 games and averaged 8.1 points with 6.5 rebounds and logged 20.6 minutes per game.
Since then, Humphries has only improved with more time to contribute. Averaging 31.4 minutes between the last two seasons, Humphries has accounted for 10.7 boards per game, 11.9 points points per game and 106 starts during that span.
Looking ahead to the 2012-13 NBA season, you can only expect Humphries to continue improving, regardless of where he ends up.
Since the 2009-10 NBA season, Kris Humphries has been teamed up with center Brook Lopez in the Nets' frontcourt. Last year, Humphries had his best season and in 2010-11 both produced emphatically well. And with Lopez returning, as well as Gerald Wallace, Deron Williams and the newly-acquired Joe Johnson (per ESPN) all on the team this season, the Nets can keep this chemistry alive to make a postseason run.
Lopez may have missed most of last season to injury, but when healthy he's as reliable of a center as there is in the association. In the 2010-11 season, Lopez scored 20.4 points, grabbed 5.9 boards, made 1.5 blocks and logged 35.2 minutes per game as a full-time starter.
With a solid backcourt in Williams and Johnson, maintaining its frontcourt allows Brooklyn to present a completed starting unit. Humphries is also the Nets' best rebounder, and with the upgraded offense Brooklyn will be able to dominate the paint much more.
Forget the entire Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets must focus on contending within the Atlantic Division before taking that next step.
The Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers are all solid teams to say the least. And considering the Nets finished dead last with a 22-44 record in 2011-12, changing that is first and foremost.
Well, getting Humphries to return will only pay dividends as his 11 rebounds per game last year ranked No. 1 in the division (No. 2 in the conference). Include a healthy Lopez and you can only imagine how much more the Nets will control the paint.
It's also a division run by defense as the Celtics, Knicks and 76ers each ranked inside the top six of the NBA in points allowed per game. The Nets were No. 24 in points allowed, so having Humphries' presence alone next to Lopez and Wallace will easily see that weakness become a strength.
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