One of the Washington Wizards’ biggest needs they had to address this off-season was their lack of front court depth. After re-signing Marcin Gortat to a 5-year deal, the Wizards quickly addressed that need.
The Washington Wizards didn’t have much cap space left after signing Gortat, but managed to work out a three-team deal which sent Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Melvin Ely and a $8.5 million trade exception. Washington also had multiple smaller trade exceptions available, which give them more flexibility.
Well, they didn’t waste much time and used their largest trade exception to acquire Kris Humphries in a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics. Washington got Kris Humphries for 3-years (third season is a team option)/$13 million, which is a cheaper deal than Trevor Booker got with the Utah Jazz.
Although Kris Humphries has become more known for his life off the court, he’s been a very solid NBA player for quite some time and Washington needed to get more depth in the front court positions. Kris Humphries averaged a double-double just a few seasons ago, and given Nene’s injury history, they needed to get a player who’s capable of coming off the bench as well as filling in for a starter in some cases.
From guys who are there to guys coming in, when you’re on a team like this — I feel blessed to be in this situation — everything you do is important and you feel important. … Whatever you do on a winning team is magnified. You feel better about doing stuff when you’re working toward something.
Humphries was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the rebuilding Boston Celtics where he took on a new role, becoming one of the team’s locker room leaders. Although Washington is built around John Wall and Bradley Beal, their veteran players such as Nene, Marcin Gortat, Martell Webster and even Andre Miller who was a late addition last season have all been a part of their run in the NBA Playoffs, so Kris Humphries will now get to focus more on his contributions on the floor, especially since the Wizards are expected to make another run this upcoming season.
Adding a third big man was crucial for the Wizards this off-season, but they also added DeJuan Blair, who is expected to become a part of their rotation off the bench along side Humphries.
DeJuan Blair has reportedly been on the Washington Wizards’ radar for quite some time, but they were finally able to get him to the nation’s capital this year. Losing Booker to free agency seemed inevitable after the team didn’t extend a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent, and the Washington Wizards needed to get someone who could replace his energy and rebounding.
Blair also talked about joining the team recently–via CSN Washington.
I was very excited when I got the news. It was like a dream come true,” Blair said about his trade to Washington. “Last year, I saw what kind of team they had. …The youth, the big men coming up. The ingredients around the team. I think I’ll be a great addition.
Before adding Drew Gooden and Al Harrington returned from injury, the Washington Wizards had to rely on Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and even Jan Vesely. Getting more depth at the big man positions was key for the Washington Wizards this summer and I think they did a terrific job of getting two really solid contributors in Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair without breaking the bank.
Both Humphries and Blair seem excited to get the season started with the Washington Wizards, and we all know how long it’s been since free agents were excited play in the nation’s capital. Winning has turned the Wizards around and like Humphries/Blair, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this upcoming season.