By Cory Bernstein
The Incredible Hump is back with the Nets! After a great year for the Nets, where Humphries averaged a double-double, he received no offers in the madness of free agency. After years of Humphries shooting like an animal, he worked on his shot selection and greatly improved his career best in field goal percentage from 47% to 52.7%. He was an elite rebounder last season, something sorely needed aside Brook Lopez (who did say that last season he was “lazy”, and in the first game against the Knicks, a considerable improvement in his D could be seen).
Hump may not be brilliant, but he has the skill to be one of the best defensive players on the Nets.
Many have argued that the price tag (one year, eight million dollars) for Humphries was too high. Although eight million dollars is a nice chunk of change, the Nets had to spend two million dollars this off season, and had twenty million in cap room. This is a one year deal, which is a tremendous win for the Nets.
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Billy King kept cap flexibility in exchange for giving Humphries a little more than he's worth. Eight million a year for a top rebounder is not that bad of a contract, and for one year it's not bad at all.
If the Nets sign Kirilenko, which I think will happen (Mike’s edit: I don’t, the man seems hell-bent on staying in Moscow, but stranger things have happened), the Nets have quietly built a semi-decent starting line-up. If Humphries has a season similar to last year's, the Nets just made a great signing. Humphries had a PER over fifteen the last four season, so there is no reason why this season would be any different. A healthy Lopez and Humphries will be a solid front line that should benefit a lot from the greatness of Deron Williams.
Get more great New Jersey Nets analysis over at Brooklyn-Bound.com.