At this point in free agency, NBA teams are now simply looking for dependable role players. According to CBS Sports, the Atlanta Hawks are signing Kris Humphries to a one-year contract worth approximately $4 million. The team desperately needed front court depth after watching Al Horford leave in free agency to sign with the Boston Celtics.
The landscape of the NBA has changed over the past couple of years. Teams are now relying more on smaller lineups and guys who can stretch the floor. At one point, Kris Humphries was a traditional power forward. While playing for the Washington Wizards, the 6-foot-9 big man started learning how to be a stretch forward.
If Kris Humphries can develop some consistency with his outside shooting, then he might become quite the asset for Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer. His offensive scheme requires players to be versatile and unselfish. Humphries will also need to work on his passing abilities as well.
This is a pretty low-risk signing for the Atlanta Hawks. If Kris Humphries shows a decline, then they can simply choose not to bring him back next season. That’s the beauty of one-year contracts. Plus, the Hawks are only forking over $4 million, which is a relative bargain nowadays in the NBA.
Kris Humphries is expected to compete for backup minutes at power forward and center next season. The Atlanta Hawks are presumably going to be starting Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard respectively. Humphries is a veteran player who understands how things work in the NBA, so he might be able to earn the trust of Mike Budenholzer a little easier than his other teammates.
The biggest competition for backup minutes for Kris Humphries will more than likely come from Mike Scott and Tiago Splitter. Both of those guys are talented enough to earn a spot in the rotation.
According to SB Nation, the Atlanta Hawks have 17 players under contract. That means that there is going to be some movement between now and the start of the NBA regular season. There may be a trade or two.
Since he is an established veteran, many NBA fans will assume that Kris Humphries will be safe on the Atlanta Hawks roster. However, if another team suffers some sort of injury, then it would be wise for the Hawks to field trade offers for someone like Humphries.
At one point in time, Kris Humphries was one of the biggest celebrities in the NBA. He was always at the center of attention when he was involved in a relationship with Kim Kardashian. For some coaches, that type of distraction was an annoyance, but that is no longer the case because Humphries is now just another basketball player.
One thing that Kris Humphries will not see with the Atlanta Hawks next season is a battle at the point guard position. According to CBS Sports, management traded away Jeff Teague to make way for Dennis Schroder, whom many in the organization view as the future of the Hawks.
Bringing Kris Humphries back provides the Atlanta Hawks with a little bit of continuity. That will be useful now that Jeff Teague and Al Horford, two of the key pieces of the team over the past couple of seasons, are no longer around. Whether or not that’s better for the team will be determined soon.
After more than a decade in the NBA, Kris Humphries seems like someone that is just happy to be paid millions of dollars to play a sport that he loves.
[Photo by Kevin C Cox/Getty Images]