|Posted by shawn cassidy on October 7, 2013 at 5:10 AM|
Humphries is a lot of things, for a lot of people. He was the player that I looked at when the trade happen. It wasn't because he was actually a decent ball player. I thought about his off the court life, and I hated the thought of it with the Celtics. Once I started to hear him speak more, and by reading some interviews since the trade. I have warmed to the idea of Kris Humphries in green. His statements below are why.
“Obviously writers write about those possibilities, and it’s (C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge’s) job to develop the team for now and the future,” Humphries said. “I’ve learned to control what you can control. We’re all coming in for practice and that’s what it is. If you worry about the future, then you lose focus on what you have to do today, and that’s basketball. Anyone can be traded at any time unless you have a no-trade clause. That’s what it is.”
If the mission here was pure, unadulterated winning, instead of being counterbalanced by development, then Humphries, 28, could expect a starting role. Prior to last season, when his role declined, Humphries had averaged a double-double in back-to-back seasons.
But something different is being asked of him now. Humphries’ focus is not only on his own game, but also a task that has a lot in common with Brad Stevens’ coaching staff.
It’s all about the young guys. Humphries understands.
“I think I counted, we have eight rookies on the roster, which is a lot for a team,” he said. “Talking to guys, and trying to give them pointers, which will help the team, it’s a reinforcement for yourself. That happens anytime you try to help someone else.”
Jared Sullinger and rookie Kelly Olynyk have become personal projects for Humphries.
“I’ve talked to both of them,” Humphries said. “Jared is a pretty intelligent player. He played a pretty high level of halfcourt defense last year. Those guys have a lot to bring to the table. There are things you can pick up just by being in the NBA. Kelly can post up a little bit, too, a little slippery in the post. He has a good feel. You can tell he’s got some good coaching along the way.”
Sullinger is already reaping some benefits.
“What (Humphries) has taught me is to be strong,” the second-year forward said. “Kris is a good defender. He can also move his feet. So he just picks and chooses when he wants to be strong and when he wants to be quick. He’s helped me out, but he’s helped the whole team with the bigs.”
The trickier question is where Humphries will have his own role defined. Stevens will juggle lineups throughout exhibition season, with a primary focus on finding players who can best blend in with Avery Bradley and Jeff Green.
“It’s early to tell,” Humphries said of finding his role. “I know what my focus is every practice and preseason game. It’s just to talk on defense and run the floor. Play hard. Just bring it in that aspect. Offense and everything will work itself out as the preseason goes along. It’s hard to tell where I’m going to fit in, and where Gerald will fit in, and Keith. What we’re going to do as a team. The coaches will have to figure that out in time.”
The nature of this lineup is almost guaranteed to change as trade activity starts to pick up in December. Until then, Humphries plans to focus on what he knows.
“You just approach it that this is a team and we have to do our job to help the team win,” he said. “It’s not about guys being too young or any of those things. I don’t think any of us players think about that. It’s just to contribute.
“Since I’ve got here, the coaching staff and management, owners have (emphasized that) these are the Celtics, and we try to win. That’s the focus, and ultimately the coaches make decisions on when guys play and rotations.”
I still believe that Kris is a one year rental this season. Unless he takes less next summer. Grabbing his 12 million in cap space next summer is nice, but I think in Humphries mind, he believes he'll return to double-double status again. I don't see the point in trading him this season, what will the Celtics get in return that's better than 12 million in cap space next summer. Nobody's giving up great young players for him. As for the now, I appreciate what Humphries is doing.