The No. 1 priority for the Wizards with free agency in Day 2 is to bring a true stretch power forward aboard, but there are slim pickings in a market in which they don't have a lot of money to spend anyway.
Paul Pierce's departure to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday elevated the need here and regardless of who the Wizards end up with raises questions about the role of Kris Humphries.
As CSNwashington.com reported Thursday morning, unrestricted free agent Drew Gooden is almost certain to re-sign here because of his size (6-10) and three-point range (46.2% in playoffs) to give them depth there. Pairing another player, preferably younger, with the 34-year-old would be ideal for the Wizards which would give them options to play with smaller lineups that were so productive in the postseason.
Humphries was acquired at this time last year in a deal with the Boston Celtics, and although he has size and is a good rebounder he isn't a stretch shooter. Humphries averaged 8.0 and 6.5 rebounds off the bench in his first season in Washington but he was mostly absent during the playoffs when he was supplanted by Gooden and coach Randy Wittman, like all NBA coaches at that time, tightened his rotation. Humphries only appeared in 1 of 10 playoff games and though he is 6-9 and has a wide body he doesn't have a low-post game to make him viable there.
So if the Wizards were to acquire a stretch shooter such as Chris Copeland, who opted out of his contract with the Indiana Pacers, where would Humphries stack up?
It would seem that his regular-season role would diminish some, too, as Wittman already has said small lineups will be used more often during the 82-game season. But given that Humphries is a good mid-range shooter, maybe he'll be deployed more as a backup center in a small lineup to pull other big men from the basket with his face-up game. He gets uncontested looks from the elbows when popping out because defenses commit to John Wall.
Humphries doesn't necessarily become irrelevant if the Wizards can find the stretch four they want in free agency this summer. He has been working on his three-point range and maybe will have expanded enough in that area to where he can create more mismatches.
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