There haven’t been more than a handful of positive stories associated with the Boston Celtics this season. One startling exception is the re-emergence of Kris Humphries as a shot-blocking, board-crashing, mid-range dominating power forward.
A lack of playing time in November hurts his overall statistics, but Humphries has been fantastic most of the season. He’s shooting over 50 percent from the floor, battling against two or three guys in the paint when a shot goes up (and mostly winning) and blocking about one dunk per possession (or it just seems like that, anyways).
In December the Celtics were 14.5 points per 100 possessions better than their opponent when Humphries played (a generous 205-minute sampling). Coach Brad Stevens responded by boosting his highest-paid player’s minutes and inserting him into the starting lineup when the opponent isn’t tiny (as the Brooklyn Nets were in Paul Pierce’s emotional return).
He’s been beyond solid and comes on a somewhat-no-strings-attached $12 million expiring contract. The word "somewhat" appears because, even though Humphries' contract is indeed expiring, the Celtics aren't going to take back long-term money in any deal for it, killing the financial purpose of most pursuers.
But Humphries has the type of skill that can help a good team be great, and teams around the league know Boston is willing to trade.
Here are five teams (listed in no particular order) that should let Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge know they’re interested, however unlikely an actual transaction may be.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, all advanced statistics come from NBA.com/stats.