Celtics Reportedly Prefer Not to Trade Kris Humphries Before 2014 Deadline

Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2014

Boston Celtics power forward Kris Humphries (43) waits for a foul shot during an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press

Just in case you weren't sure whether the Boston Celtics were in full-on rebuilding mode, now this. The organization is reportedly looking to leave forward Kris Humphries on the roster until season's end, allowing his $12 million salary to come off the books and positioning Danny Ainge to have greater cap flexibility going forward (via Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix):

Several rival executives say Boston is overvaluing Bass and Green, insisting on a first-round pick in any deal. Humphries' expiring $12 million contract is appealing, but Celtics coaches have been happy with Humphries -- a good soldier despite limited playing time early in the season -- and prefer to let the contract come off the books at the end of the season.

Holding on to the rugged rebounder certainly doesn't mean the Celtics will abstain from the trade market entirely. Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher reports that Ainge is busy investigating available deals, potentially for Rajon Rondo and/or Jeff Green.

But don't expect Humphries to be included in any of those deals.

You could be excused for expecting otherwise. The 29-year-old is playing just over 19 minutes per contest, a steep decline from the 34.9 he averaged with the Nets in 2011-12. Given Boston's relatively thin front line, those numbers aren't indicative of a perfect fit.

Moreover, Humphries remains a relatively valuable trade chip, especially in the eyes of contenders looking to improve their depth in the paint. Despite his limited action, the big man is averaging 7.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game—good enough for a respectable 17.93 PER.

Best known for his short-lived marriage to TV star Kim Kardashian, Humphries was once ranked the NBA's most disliked player, according to a Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research survey. 

The Celtics apparently like him enough to keep him for the rest of the season.