Green Street
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Irish Coffee: Is Kris Humphries good at basketball?

09.10.13 at 2:55 pm ET

Most of what we in Boston know about Kris Humphries has little to do with basketball. Obviously, he briefly married Kim Kardashian, fought Rajon Rondo and earned his spot atop the list of most disliked NBA players. That’s all been covered in great detail already. Just read TMZ. Or watch this Funny or Die video.

But the basketball question remains: Can Kris Humphries help the Celtics this season?

The good news: He’€™s averaged a double-double per 36 minutes in six of his nine NBA seasons, including the last four, and his best seasons came in contract years. Humphries ranked among the league’€™s top five rebounders from 2010-12, when he earned a one-year, $8 million deal in 2011 and his current two-year, $24 million agreement in 2012. That contract expires at season’s end, so there’s a monetary incentive for him to succeed.

In 2011-12, amid scrutiny few players not named Lamar Odom can comprehend, Humphries finished as one of five power forwards with a double-digit Win Score (10.51). The others: Kevin LoveAnderson VarejaoPau Gasol and Blake Griffin. And his PER (17.93) ranked a hair above Zach Randolph and David West.

Despite averaging just 18.1 minutes for an improved Nets team last season, Humphries’ rebound rate of 18.1 still ranked among the league’€™s best — better than everyone but Shavlik Randolph on the Celtics last year. Good stuff.

Now, the bad news: When he takes the court for the C’s, Humphries will be playing for his fifth different team in 10 seasons. When a seemingly productive player is traded four times — three while making short money and the fourth after seeing his minutes slashed in half — something’s not right. In this case, everything but rebounding.

Maybe it’s his subpar points allowed per possession (0.88) and defensive rating (106.5). Or the fact the Nets were almost eight points better per game without Humphries on the floor last season. That’s bad defense.

Maybe it’s a shooting percentage well below league average among fours who played 15 minutes a night last season (0-2 feet: 57.5%; 3-9 feet: 34.0; 10-15 feet: 31.6; 16-23 feet: 34.0). Or a turnover rate exceeding his assist rate in all but one of his nine seasons (2008-09, when he had 10 assists and eight turnovers). That’s bad offense.

As a result, Humphries’ “Similarity Scores” on Basketball Reference include such NBA legends as Pat Garrity, Buck JohnsonKwame Brown, Derek StrongAlbert KingDick Schnittker and Jackie Moreland.

An above-average rebounder capable of a solid NBA season in a contract year, Humphries is vastly overpaid at $12 million, which could pay dividends for the C’s come trade deadline time. But perhaps you already knew that.

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