One of the Washington Wizards’ biggest needs they had to address this off-season was their lack of front court depth. Nene has been unable to stay healthy throughout the course of an entire season, while Washington had to inevitably depend on inexperienced bigs such as Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely and Kevin Seraphin. Needless to say, they didn’t get much production from the last two players I mentioned.
Washington eventually added Drew Gooden late in the season who gave them a spark, but they still desperately needed to add a few serviceable bigs this summer.
After losing Trevor Booker to the Utah Jazz, Washington quickly bounced back by adding veteran Kris Humphries on a cheaper deal. Although Kris Humphries is more known for his life off the court, he’s been a solid big man in the NBA for quite some time.
I reached out to Rich Spalding (@theamazingMrS) of Hardwood Houdini (FanSided’s Boston Celtics site), who provided some insight into Kris Humphries and his game. Rich has covered the Celtics for Hardwood Houdini, so I thought it would be a good idea to get a different perspective. He was nice enough to answer a few questions about Kris Humphries. Enjoy.
Ben Mehic: Despite being known more for his life off the floor than on the court, Kris Humphries has always been a serviceable big man in the NBA. How did he manage playing for a rebuilding Celtics team after playing for the Brooklyn Nets? Was he considered a “locker room leader”?
Rich Spalding: Let’s start with this much: Kris Humphries will be missed in Boston. I understand the dollars and cents behind why Boston didn’t want to re-sign Hump, but the bottom line is that he busted his butt every single time he came into a game for the Celtics. I can’t speak as to how much of a locker room leader he was, but I know Brad Stevens spoke glowingly of him, saying that he didn’t fight the system that the Celtics asked him to play, but embraced it. Frankly, 2013-2014 was Hump’s best season in the NBA, so at the very least he was a great role model for the younger Celtics when it came to punching in, listening to your boss, and doing your job.
What will the Celtics miss most about Kris Humphries? Basically, what are his biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Kris Humphries has always been a force to be reckoned with on the glass, but if he can hit mid-range jumpers with the Wizards with the same amount of success he displayed last season, he could really open the middle of the floor for the Wizards. Plus, he probably handled the rock more last season than ever, so he is the sort of big that can catch and make reads to cutters, such as John Wall. That sort of flexibility will make Kris Humphries a great addition, most likely off the bench, if they continue to use him in that manner. I think that is the key – Hump responded to being handed more responsibility by coach Stevens, so simply asking him to back to being a rebounder and guy who looks the lob passes could bore him.
Kris Humphries seems to be categorized with scrappy, rebounding big men, but he shot the ball extremely well from the mid-range area and contributed offensively last season in Boston. How will that translate in Washington?
Hump also stepped in up on the defensive end last season, chipping in a block per game in very limited minutes. Overall, Wizards fans should pray that he is challenged and given a role similar to the one he played in Boston last season, because if he is, he’ll quickly become a fan favorite in DC.
If you could, please give us a summary of Kris Humphries and his time with Boston.
Honestly, I’ll miss Kris Humphries and wish the Celtics had kept him. I know last season could have been lightning in a bottle, but then again, it could have been a sign that Hump was ready to move on past being known mostly for his tabloid romance.
Again, I want to thank Rich for taking the time to answer a few questions about Kris Humphries.
Humphries has played at a very high level for quite some time, and he’ll undoubtedly be a good addition to Washington’s roster. He’ll provide some much needed rebounding and hustle that was lost by Booker’s departure, but he’ll also give the Wizards some flexibility with their rotations.
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