As the trade deadline approaches, it’s important to take a look at some of the so-called tradeable assets on this Raptors team. What are the strengths and weaknesses of a player, looking at the current and future possibilities, and of course salary situations.
Salary: $2.5 million this season with an extension through 2010-2011 season.
Strengths: Perhaps the toughest “big body” on the Raptors squad. A banger who has some hops and can hit some shots. He’s able to grab rebounds on both ends of the floor as well as block shots. Able to get to the line.
Weaknesses: Has some tendencies to disappear in games for stretches. Takes some bad fouls, even worse shots. Has a “black hole” complex.
Comments: As an intriguing prospect, Kris Humphries has already paid dividends for the Raptors. First, as a great trade that brought him to the Raptors for basically nothing, and then to give the Raptors an aspect of what they need from the 4-position. It’s definitely not a stretch to say that Kris is our most effective rebounder and the trail of sweat that he leaves on the floor is proof positive of this fact. The question is, on a team so desperate for rebounding, why doesn’t Kris Humphries get more minutes?
Part of the problem is that the thinking is that Kris is still mainly a power forward, which means that Chris Bosh is ahead of him on the team. Granted, he has played minutes with CB4, but his role seems to be to back Chris Bosh up. The other difficulty is that you’re never quite sure about what you’re going to get from the man known as “Hump”. As a rebounder, Kris definitely excels, but there’s always the question of his offense.
The fact is, when Kris is on fire, he looks like the second coming of Karl Malone. He can hit the outside shot, both from standstill and from a pull up, he can drive the ball inside, he can post up, and he definitely finishes strong around the basket. Kris has had far more off-days than spectacular ones, which isn’t a problem, as he’s a bench player and can’t be expected to pull the team all the time. Nevertheless, there’s just no excuse for his lack of passing and his need to always try an offensive move or two before passing the ball out of a difficult situation. As a result, Sam’s had to bench him as he completely pulls the offense into a stand-still due to his belief in his offensive prowess. Add to the fact that he’s wildly inconsistent from the free throw line, and you wish Kris would kick the ball out of the post more often.
Nevertheless, Kris Humphries is as close to an untouchable as you’re going to get from a Raptors’ bench player. Even though the final details of his contract extension aren’t publicly available, the estimates are that he will receive somewhere between $2-4 million through 2011, which is a very manageable contract for such a young player that can still give the team unexpected rebounding. As a cheap, physical presence who isn’t a bad influence in the locker room, and one of the best interviews on the entire Raptors’ squad, Kris’ value will continue to shine through in upcoming years.
Verdict: Highly unlikely due to his valuable low contract and necessary abilities. The Raptors should only trade Humphries if it is to upgrade their rebounding situation.