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Assessing Kris Humphries' Value to the Hawks

The Hawks recently agreed to a new contract with Kris Humphries. While signing Humphries is not a game-changing acquisition, it is a good move for the team's short-term prospects.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

On July 11, the Atlanta Hawks and Kris Humphries agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal that provides the team with more depth in the frontcourt. Humphries joined the Hawks last season after agreeing to a buyout with the Phoenix Suns, allowing him to continue to build upon a solid foundation with Atlanta's team.

Signing Humphries is a low-risk move for the Hawks that adds consistency and depth to the 2016-17 roster. While Humphries should not be expected to provide anything more than solid production off the bench, his strong play at the end of the season and in the playoffs easily merits the cheap, one-year deal that Atlanta was willing to offer.

Humphries is perhaps the very definition of an NBA journeyman, as his solid (if unspectacular) play and long tenure in the league have led to stints with eight different teams. His numbers with Atlanta last year — 6.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game — are consistent with his career production, showing that Atlanta can easily expect something similar for next season. If nothing else, Humphries is a competent scorer and rebounder who can provide rest for Paul Millsap whenever necessary.

If there are any negatives to this signing, they are Humphries' age and lack of three-point shooting. 31 isn't ancient by any standard, but the Hawks are already leaning heavily on three players over 30 (Korver, Millsap, and Howard), so in a perfect world it would have been preferable to add younger depth. In addition, Humphries is a poor three-point shooter, which could create spacing issues if he is on the court with both Howard and Schröder at the same time.

In addition, signing Humphries does nothing to address the impending free agency of Paul Millsap, arguably the biggest roster issue the Hawks will face over the next year. There is no immediate successor to Millsap's position, leaving a potential gap in the team's long-term plans.

However, none of these criticisms negate the fact that the Hawks just signed a capable veteran at an entirely reasonable salary. Humphries was never advertised as a three-point threat, and his age is not a concern when he is only on a one-year deal. Finally, Millsap's contract is an issue for next summer, and it would not be fair to expect the organization to find a suitable replacement for next year this late in free agency.

The NBA season is long, long enough to cause injuries to every team and demand that playoff-hopeful teams have enough depth to both rest starters and provide injury insurance. Kris Humphries does both. While it would be unreasonable to expect anything close to elite performance from him this year, it is clear that the Hawks just signed a very good bench player for a very good price.