Yesterday, Marc Stein of ESPN and Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York reported that power forward Kris Humphries had agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal to remain on the team that has made him a star.
Last season, the former Minnesota Golden Gopher averaged a career best 13.8 points and 11 rebounds per game.
Simply put, bringing Humphries back makes the Nets a lock for the postseason next year. He is a fine athlete who is a beast in the rebounding department, which the Nets need given how Brook Lopez is more of a scoring center. More importantly, the Nets signed him for the definition of the hometown discount.
Look at it this way. Last year, Humphries was playing on a one-year deal worth $8 million, and that was after a breakout season in which he started just 44 of 74 games played. That season, he averaged 10 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
Given how he had an even better season in the lockout-shortened campaign, one would think that he would get multiple lucrative offers. In fact, the reason that the Dwight Howard trade talks stalled was because Humphries would have gone to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the deal, and they were only willing to offer a one-year deal, which Humphries refused.
That may have scared some suitors off, but it was a blessing for the Nets. At just $12 million a year for the next two years, they can now have their dominant big man. Even though they have multiple large contracts on the payroll in those of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, Humphries' skills pay for themselves.
The old adage says that defense wins championships, and the fact is that Humphries' work under the basket is going to get the Nets plenty of victories on their march to the postseason. He may seem small at 6'9", 235 pounds, but he plays as though he's a couple of inches taller in that he just goes after every potential rebound. To have a player that puts his body on the line that much can only help the Nets in the long run.
With a short-term commitment and decent price tag to boot, Brooklyn fans may be cheering all the way to a deep playoff run thanks to Humphries' loyalty and willingness to stay with the Nets.