Michael Scotto, SNYNets.com
The latest trade rumor to swirl involves the Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Bobcats potentially swapping Kris Humphries for Ben Gordon.
Humphries has underwhelmed in Brooklyn after averaging a double-double in points and rebounds the previous two seasons.
Humphries averaged 11.9 points and 10.7 rebounds in 31.4 minutes per game during his previous two seasons with the Nets in New Jersey.
Since moving to Brooklyn, the healthy returns of Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace from injuries have largely curtailed Humphries’ statistics across the board.
Humphries has seen his minutes fluctuate after beginning the year as the starting power forward under former coach Avery Johnson. Under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, Reggie Evans has replaced him in the starting lineup. Humphries has subsequently averaged 5.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in 19.6 minutes per game through Brooklyn’s first 42 games.
On the other hand, Gordon is enjoying his most efficient season since his final season with the Chicago Bulls in 2008-09.
Gordon had a combined 13.29 PER in his previous three seasons with the Detroit Pistons. This season, Gordon’s PER has improved to 16.71 through Charlotte’s first 44 games.
Despite averaging a career-low 22.1 minutes per game, Gordon has shot the ball well from the field (.438) and beyond the arc (.415) while averaging 13.1 points per game.
With that in mind, the potential trade makes sense for both teams.
Gordon has a $13.2 million player option for next season while Humphries is on the books for a guaranteed $12 million.
Brooklyn has lacked a consistent scoring punch off the bench from the shooting guard position.
Like Humphries, MarShon Brooks has struggled mightily with a reduced role. Brooks has averaged 5.3 points in 11.4 minutes per game after starting 47 of 56 games last season and averaging 12.6 points in 29.4 minutes per game.
As a result, Joe Johnson has averaged 37.9 minutes per game for Brooklyn.
Adding Gordon would allow Johnson to rest more frequently and take pressure off him to score. Gordon can handle the ball, create his own shot, and shoots the ball well from downtown. Gordon also played ball at Mount Vernon High School and would welcome playing in a larger market and joining a winning situation.
Brooklyn could also push the tempo by having Deron Williams, Gordon, Johnson, Wallace, and Lopez all on the floor together.
Williams, Johnson, and Gordon can all spread the floor and allow Lopez to operate near the paint and Wallace to slash into the lane.
In addition, the Nets have responded to change well this season. Brooklyn has gotten off to the second best start in franchise history by an interim coach with Carlesimo at the helm.
Evans has provided a consistent rebounding presence since replacing Humphries in the starting lineup averaging 10.3 rebounds per game. Williams has shot the ball more efficiently from the field (.438) and beyond the arc (.406) since Carlesimo took over.
Brooklyn can open up more minutes for foreign import Mirza Teletovic by moving Humphries. Teletovic has played sparingly despite receiving a three-year, $9.7 million contract this past summer after being regarded as the best player in Europe.
Teletovic can space the floor with his three-point shooting ability when paired with either Lopez or Andray Blatche. Lopez and Blatche could operate inside without the threat of a constant double-team with Teletovic keeping the defense honest.
Charlotte would offer a fresh start for Humphries in a smaller market far removed from the media scrutiny that has followed him since his highly publicized divorce with Kim Kardashian. The Bobcats offered Humphries a three-year, $27 million offer this summer and like his skill set. If Humphries was dealt, he would a join a Charlotte team similar to his former New Jersey teams, which all had a dearth of talent. The lack of talent around Humphries would allow him to earn consistent minutes, improve his numbers, and a chance to earn another contract after the 2013-14 season.
Michael Scotto is an Analyst for SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter for the latest news from Brooklyn and the NBA: @MikeAScotto