BOSTON – CSNNE.com has learned that the Celtics have had discussions about bringing Kris Humphries back to Boston for a second tour of duty.
No deal is imminent because the Celtics’ focus remains on trying to land at least one of their top three free agent targets – Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Atlanta’s Al Horford and Houston’s Dwight Howard.
Durant has a list of six teams that he will consider signing with, although all indications at this point see the perennial All-Star returning to Oklahoma City with a “1+1” deal which would give him the flexibility to opt-out of the second year and do this free agency process all over again.
Horford and Howard seem more realistic options for the Celtics, although Boston will face steep competition when it comes to signing either one of them.
With Humphries, the Celtics would add a familiar face to the roster who when he did play for Boston, was productive.
In his lone season with the Celtics (2013-2014), Humphries averaged 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game while shooting a career-high 50.1 percent from the field.
His play was strong enough to earn him a three-year, $13 million deal from the Washington Wizards.
During his time with the Celtics, Humphries was more than just a solid performer.
He was a veteran who was in and out of the lineup, but never grumbled about his inconsistent minutes.
But when the opportunity arose to play, Humphries was consistently ready to perform.
In practices, he would often stay after and run end-to-end sprints with the younger players.
It was the kind of stealth leadership that Brad Stevens needed from inside the locker room in what was Stevens’ first season as an NBA coach.
But the interest in Humphries now is two-fold.
First and foremost, he would provide some much-needed depth along the frontline. And with him being more of a stretch big now (108 of his 134 career 3s taken came last season), he fits the versatility mold that Stevens and the Celtics want from all their players.
And maybe just as significant, Humphries could provide talent while not necessarily needing a long-term deal to join the Celtics. Humphries was thought to have been a player who could command a deal starting at around $10 million.
But with some of the deals reportedly agreed upon just hours into the free agency period (Timofey Mozgov to the Lakers for four years, $64 million; Joakim Noah to New York for four years, $70 million), Humphries’ starting salary now will likely fall somewhere between $10-$15 million.And lastly, Humphries knows first-hand what it's like to play for the Celtics and the connection that players have with the team's fanbase.
And lastly, Humphries knows first-hand what it's like to play for the Celtics and the connection that players have with the team's fanbase.
"This is one of the best home crowds in sports, I would say," Humphries told CSNNE.com.