Kris Humphries will reportedly become the newest member of the Atlanta Hawks once he clears waivers Tuesday. What does the reserve big man give the Hawks?
According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, it seems that “free-agent Kris Humphries has committed to sign with the Atlanta Hawks once he clears waivers…on Tuesday, which he is expected to do.”
Atlanta has had an available roster spot since the 2016 NBA Trade Deadline, when the Hawks sent point guard Shelvin Mack to the Utah Jazz and wing Justin Holiday to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for reserve guard Kirk Hinrich.
Many wondered when and frankly if Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer was going to bring in a veteran reserve forward to compensate for the season-ending hip injury to backup center Tiago Splitter earlier this month.
While big men like Anderson Varejao and David Lee signed elsewhere, Golden State and Dallas, respectively, it seems that Budenholzer and the Atlanta Hawks wanted to wait to see if other bigs would hit the waiver wire.
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Kris Humphries started the 2015-16 NBA season with Atlanta’s Southeast Division nemesis in the Washington Wizards before being traded to the Phoenix Suns that are in the middle of a blazing grease fire in the Arizona desert for disgruntled forward Markieff Morris.
After a few games, the Suns have agreed to cut ties with Humphries, allowing the 12-year NBA veteran to have another opportunity to play in the NBA Playoffs for a contending team, something Phoenix is nowhere near achieving in 2016.
What Kris Humphries can bring to the Atlanta Hawks that some of the other available bigs could not is a strong outside shooting game, along with a low post presence to get put-backs and help on the boards. In 28 games with the Wizards this season, Humphries is shooting 34.3% from distance, as well as averaging 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest.
Humphries will stretch the floor for opposing defenses when he’s on the court for the Atlanta Hawks. He’s not a great defensive player, but he hasn’t exactly had to play defense for an elite level team before. Not that the Atlanta Hawks are championship caliber this season, but they do boast a top five defense and nearly all of their players can consistently hit a three-point shot.
While he isn’t the marquee name that many wanted the Atlanta Hawks to sign, Kris Humphries can give the Hawks lift where they need it most in both rebounding and frontcourt depth. Since the Hawks have to play the Wizards three more times this season, perhaps Humphries could provide the Hawks will some key pointers about how to best exploit his former team down the stretch.
Atlanta’s schedule becomes one of the toughest in the NBA as the calendar turns to March. For the Hawks to elevate from the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference and earn back the right to have home court advantage in the first round of the NBA Playoffs as a top four seed in the East, they will need Kris Humphries to play big minutes in Budenholzer’s rotation as a key big man for the club.