With the intense NBA offseason cooling down, there is time for reflection on what the Washington Wizards accomplished and a chance to look at the road ahead. For the next couple of weeks, CSNwashington.com Insider J. Michael and Wizards correspondent Ben Standig will examine various issues and answer questions as the Wizards move toward the 2015-16 campaign.
We’ve seen the video of Kris Humphries practicing -- and sinking -- 3-pointers. Do you buy into the idea that he could turn into a stretch-4 option?
J. Michael: I have trouble seeing Humphries as a stretch four, just as I can’t envision Nene as one either. Can he hit an occasional shot from distance with the clock winding down or an end-of-game situation when he ends up with the ball? Certainly.
But I can’t envision a scenario where Humphries is setting a screen and peeling off to the three-point arc for a set play. The Wizards have plenty of other options with Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson, Drew Gooden and even Martell Webster (he played some in Portland) as a stretch.
I’ve seen Humphries practicing threes after practice since training camp a year ago. But shooting from deep in a practice situation isn’t the same as game-time no matter how many he makes there.
Ben Standig: There are different layers to the stretch-4 role. From the looks of things, Humphries might be able to help when John Wall or others drive and kick to the corners. That's certainly a helpful component. But, as J, Michael said, that doesn't mean the 6-foot-9 forward can suddenly help make plays on the move. We also shouldn't forget about his career 3-point numbers (2 for 26) or that his last career 3-pointer came during the 11-year veteran's rookie season.
However, my biggest concern is quickness defensively. Humphries typically guards interior options, who probably don't venture much more than 15 feet from the basket. Playing a stretch-4 role also means taking on the opposite number and having to defend out to the 3-point arc. In the East that could mean standouts like Paul Millsap or Carmelo Anthony. While in theory Humphries faces more second-team types, he'll still need a fair amount of foot speed to keep up.
As a reminder and in a pound for pound sort of way, Humphries was arguably the second best player on the Wizards last season before his injury. He rebounded, rocked the mid-range game and picked up the slack inside when needed. As for the upcoming season, Humphries is the third big man behind Marcin Gortat and Nene. He won't lack for minutes. For now, I'm just not sure how many will be in the role of a stretch-4 with a healthy Jared Dudley available - or not.
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