It could be argued that Humphries was the Nets’ best player this season since Deron Williams didn’t play enough to garner this accolade and Brook Lopez didn’t rebound enough to his potential. Although, props to Bropez for coming strong at the end of the season. In any case, Humphries recently finished fifth in the the NBA Most Improved Player voting and he certainly produced at a higher level this past season. However, what should earn Humphries respect is the fact that he was a true team player. Coming into the season, Troy Murphy was supposed to be the starter at the four spot. During the season, rookie Derrick Favors became the starter. There was never a complaint or controversy, only hard work and gratitude from Humphries. The man worked hard and did his thing on the hardwood. There’s a reason he was named as one of the core five players moving forward for the Nets.
The Pink Shirt: Well, there are a trio of highlight rejections on various players – LaMarcus Aldridge, Lou Amundson, and Robin Lopez. However, his monster game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers (yes, I know, a lot of players can say this) on March 23rd on the road is noteworthy – 18 points, 23 rebounds (nine offensive and 14 defensive), four assists, two blocks, two steals, and most importantly a Nets win.
The Paper Bag: Maybe I’m too positive of a person, but on the court, I can’t think of anything that jumps out that was bad for Humphries. However, off the court… “The Incredible Hump“? Really? Did Humphries actually agree to this… abomination?!?! Of course, I could see where they were going with it, but the nickname is more suitable for a porn star!
Final Thoughts: Humphries is a free agent this coming summer and most fans (along with Avery Johnson) want him to come back. However, where the trepidation sneaks in is, at what price? Obviously, Humphries is due for a pay raise and how could you argue a close to double-digit per year salary? As a starter in 44 games, he averaged 10.7 points on 51.6% shooting from the deck and 67.0% from the stripe, 12.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in only 30.7 minutes per. Humphries had an excellent finish in 14 March games, averaging 14.2 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks during a more starter-like 37.0 minutes. What’s more to like is that Humphries complements Lopez well down in the box. Yes, Humphries will get paid!