Kris Humphries and the Phoenix Suns are possibly negotiating a buyout. The Atlanta Hawks have emerged as the favorites to land him, but will they sign him?
Kris Humphries went to the Phoenix Suns organization as part of the Markieff Morris trade with the Washington Wizards at 2016’s NBA Trade Deadline. The move was to move the disgruntled Morris brother in hopes of turning around the Phoenix basketball culture more than anything.
After a few games, it seems that the Suns are negotiating a buyout for Kris Humphries, making him a free agent that is able to sign with any team on a veteran minimum contract. The Atlanta Hawks have emerged as the runaway favorite to sign 12-year NBA power forward. Is it a good fit to sign Kris Humphries this late in the season for the Hawks?
While Humphries has averaged only 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, the 31-year-old NBA veteran will hopefully counterbalance the loss of backup center Tiago Splitter for the season due to hip surgery in the Atlanta Hawks’ frontcourt rotation.
Atlanta needs to fill out its 15th roster spot soon before pushing forward towards another deep Eastern Conference Playoffs run. The Hawks upped its veteran presence in the backcourt by bringing back former Atlanta Hawks point guard Kirk Hinrich into the fold on a trade deadline deal. Adding Humphries will help the Hawks have both depth and better rebounding from their big men down in the low post.
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While the Atlanta Hawks certainly had their chances to sign Anderson Varejao, David Lee, Andrea Bargnani, and even consider bringing back former Hawks great Joe Johnson into the mix after those veterans were all cut by their respective teams shortly after the NBA Trade Deadline, perhaps Kris Humphries fits more into what Mike Budenholzer wants out of his players in the Hawks organization?
Budenholzer did get to see Kris Humphries a lot these last three years, as Humphries played for Atlanta’s Southeast Division rival in Randy Wittman‘s Washington Wizards. Atlanta defeated Washington in the 2015 Eastern Conference Semifinals to advance to the team’s first ever trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Humphries didn’t play a lot of minutes for Wittman down the stretch, but probably should have, as he seemed to always spark the frontcourt offensively with the spacing he provides with his nice mid-range shooting stroke. He’s also never been afraid to crash the boards to come up with a big rebound.
Signing Kris Humphries isn’t the big name many Atlanta Hawks fans wanted to fill the 15th and final roster spot this season, but as with any transaction Mike Budenholzer orchestrates in the front office with general manager Wes Wilcox, it’s all about scheme fit. Kris Humphries will add to the nice frontcourt trio on the Atlanta bench in Mike Muscala, Mike Scott, and Walter Tavares.