Humphries fighting for time in C's frontcourt

Humphries fighting for time in C's frontcourt
October 27, 2013, 1:30 pm
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BOSTON — The only thing worse than being an NBA veteran on a bad team, is being an NBA veteran on a bad team who doesn't play.

There are early indications that this will indeed be the fate of Boston's Kris Humphries.

Although he had decent numbers in the preseason, the Celtics' pecking order for big men for now at least has him behind Brandon Bass, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger and Vitor Faverani. And while the Celtics' big man rotation will be subject to change throughout the season, Boston will likely go with a quartet of bigs most nights.

When asked about his role heading into the season, the 6-foot-9 forward is admittedly unsure.

"It's hard to tell right now," he told

Humphries will be the first to admit that he has not played as well as he would have liked in the preseason. In seven preseason games, he averaged 6.9 points and just 2.8 rebounds in 16.1 minutes per game.

"I haven't necessarily been excited about how I've been playing in the preseason," he said. "But it's been an adjustment."

Entering his 10th NBA season, Humphries has played primarily at the power forward position. But with the Celtics' depth on the perimeter, Humphries has found himself playing almost exclusively at center.

While he would love to play his more natural power forward position, Humphries isn't complaining.

"I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team," he said.

But if the Celtics struggle the way many anticipate, and Humphries is spending lots of time on the bench, do not be surprised if Humphries and his $12 million expiring contract wind up elsewhere with a team in need of frontcourt depth without a commitment beyond this season.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, said the Celtics aren't likely to make any moves that would move them any closer to the $71.7 million luxury tax threshold.

"Right now, we're barely under the luxury tax so we have no choice," said Ainge. "We will stay under the tax this year. We have to as we're rebuilding; not just from a standpoint of the financial budgets but as a competitive advantage to stay under the cap."

For now, Humphries isn't thinking about anything other than making sure he's ready to play whatever role he's asked to, when he gets his opportunity.

"It's challenging, but Brad (Stevens) is a good coach, this is a good team with good guys," Humphries said. "You just have to figure it out, do what you can do in practice and take advantage of your opportunities when they come."