Each day for the past two years, it's seemed as though there's been a new ridiculous story about Kris Humphries on TMZ, or in the National Inquirer or in Us Weekly.
Conventional wisdom would tell GMs to stay away from players like that, especially when they aren't superstars. Yet the Nets—who are about to embark on one of their most important campaigns in franchise history—are still trying to get Humphries to return.
According to the New York Post's Tim Bontemps, the Nets are ready to turn their attention to negotiations with Humphries after re-signing Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace and trading for Joe Johnson. But should they even bother?
In eight seasons, Humphries has averaged 6.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. It's true that his last year with the Nets was his most productive—he averaged a double-double with 13.8 points and 11.0 rebounds in 34.9 minutes per game—but is he worth the hassle?
Humphries' situation is tough. In him, you see a player who has been steadily improving over the last three years and, for the right price, could be a serious asset on a team looking to make a big splash as it moves from New Jersey to Brooklyn.
But you also see someone who's proven to be an unfocused tabloid magnet off the court and someone who could perilously compromise team chemistry next season. Given all the money the Nets have spent this summer, they can't afford to risk it all for a player who can't stay out of the gossip columns.
Most recently, Humphries was photographed at a pool party with a hoard of scantily-dressed ladies. Before that, his ex-girlfriend claimed to be pregnant with his child. Somewhere in between, rumors swirled that he'd been kicked out of a high-profile Hollywood club. And somehow, even though it's been almost a year, the Kim Kardashian nonsense just won't die.
And while Humphries is busy doing all that, the real NBA stars are working their tails off to get ready for the Olympics.
The problem with Humphries isn't the fact that he's been the subject of so many disastrous tabloid stories. It's not even his stats. The problem is the fact that he doesn't seem to care about his reputation, nor does he try to do anything to stop it from worsening by the day.
No team wants to invest millions in a player who doesn't seem serious about putting his career first. No team wants to invest millions in a player who seems like he'd rather focus on being the paparazzi's prime target than focusing on helping his team contend for an NBA title.
There's no question that Humphries has been good over the last two seasons. But as Bontemps reports, the Nets "have other options in mind in the event they can’t come to an agreement with Humphries."
There are plenty of cheap-ish, focused, talented big men who can prove to be effective post presences and who don't require an additional crisis PR staff to keep them in check.
Maybe the Nets should start focusing on those options.