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Irish Coffee: Is Kris Humphries good at basketball?

Most of what we in Boston know about Kris Humphries has little to do with basketball. Obviously, he briefly married Kim Kardashian [1], fought Rajon Rondo [2] and earned his spot atop the list of most disliked NBA players [3]. That’s all been covered in great detail already. Just read TMZ [4]. Or watch this Funny or Die video [5].

But the basketball question remains: Can Kris Humphries help the Celtics [6] 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 [7] (10.51). The others: Kevin Love [8]Anderson VarejaoPau Gasol [9] and Blake Griffin [10]. And his PER [11] (17.93) ranked a hair above Zach Randolph [12] 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 [13] (0.88) and defensive rating [14] (106.5). Or the fact the Nets [15] were almost eight points better per game [16] 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 [17] (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 [18]” on Basketball Reference include such NBA legends as Pat Garrity, Buck JohnsonKwame Brown [19], 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.