Kris Humphries wasn't without a job for too long. Shortly after the Phoenix Suns announced they waived the veteran forward, the 31-year-old agreed to terms with the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, per Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Basketball always comes down to winning and competing, especially now that the season is so long," said Humphries early Sunday morning before news of his buyout by Phoenix, per Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. "[Joining a playoff team] is always an option."
The Vertical's Bobby Marks provided the financial particulars of this deal from Atlanta's perspective:
Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42
Claiming team for Humphries would be responsible for $4.4m cap hit but only owe $1.1m in salary for the remainder of the season.2/28/2016, 10:26:15 PM
Humphries appeared in just four games for the Suns, with the bulk of his time coming with the Washington Wizards this season. He was involved in the trade that sent forward Markieff Morris to Washington, D.C., at the Feb. 18 trade deadline.
In 32 games for the Suns and Wizards, Humphries averaged 6.5 points on 38.1 percent shooting and 4.6 rebounds a game. He has become somewhat of a three-point threat for the first time in his NBA career, shooting 33.8 percent from beyond the arc.
It's a significant change for Humphries. According to Basketball-Reference.com, 97.5 percent of his career field-goal attempts have come inside the three-point line. That figure is down to 60.3 percent in 2015-16.
Humphries' three-point shooting hasn't increased his offensive value, however. Here's how his per-36 and advanced numbers stack up this year compared to his career averages, per Basketball-Reference.com:
|Kris Humphries—2015-16 Per-36 Stats vs. Career Averages|
In his 28 games with Washington, the Wizards were 3.4 points worse offensively per 100 possessions with Humphries on the floor, per NBA.com.
Spacing the floor is only becoming more important throughout the league, but with regard to Humphries' newfound three-point shooting, it has been more of a hindrance to his team.
Seeing him struggle on the offensive end isn't a major surprise, though. For most of his career, his best work has come inside on defense, be it grabbing rebounds or defending the paint. He's still capable of making a highlight-reel block every now and again:
However, Washington's defensive rating fell from 106.7 to 104.3 per 100 possessions when Humphries left the floor, per NBA.com.
The Wizards have been one of the more disappointing teams in the league this year, which might have affected Humphries' performance level. Playing for a playoff contender might light a fire under the 12-year veteran.
Vivlamore noted earlier the Hawks had to act fast if they wanted to sign Humphries. March 1 is the deadline to ensure a player added off waivers is eligible for the postseason.
Barring another injury, Atlanta shouldn't need Humphries to play a major role in the rotation. Mike Scott has been a good backup at the 4 behind Paul Millsap, and head coach Mike Budenholzer is unlikely to play his newest acquisition at the 5 considering how little he has played there.
Humphries is essentially insurance in the frontcourt after hip surgery ruled Tiago Splitter out for the rest of the year.
Teams can never have too much depth in the playoffs, and at this stage of the season, the Hawks' hands were tied a bit as they looked for a replacement for Splitter.
Signing Humphries doesn't present much risk for Atlanta, and if he can return to something resembling his 2013-14 or 2014-15 self, then Humphries could emerge as a nice luxury off the bench.
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