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Report: Boston Celtics Planning 'Key Role' for Kris Humphries

Looks Like the Big Man Won't Be Traded After All

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | By now, mostly everyone knows that the Boston Celtics acquired Kris Humphries from Brooklyn as part of the blockbuster Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade. But few people have any idea what the team will do with him.

Many thought the Celtics would trade the power forward, who will make $12 million this season (more than any other Celtic). Once he has been in Boston for two months, he can be included in a package with other players.

So deal him, right? Team leader Rajon Rondo scuffled with him last year. Danny Ainge jabbed him a couple times during the press conference that introduced the guy. He has no future in Boston, many of us thought.

Not so fast. Thanks to Twitter, we now have a much clearer picture of Kris Humphries' fate.

At 5:38 p.m. on August 1, ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling tweeted that the New York Knicks showed interest in Humphries, on the contingency that Boston bought him out.

It's "unlikely at this point," Zwerling wrote. "Celtics envision key role for Humph."

That's a bombshell of a grammatically incorrect Twitter statement. Zwerling reveals an apparent insight that Ainge has coveted Humphries (I'm sorry, "Humph") all this time -- enough to keep him aboard despite the interest of a division rival.

Never mind the frown-faces Ainge flashed during the press conference (or is that his happy face?). Or the fact that he said Hump had no physical reason to decline at the age of 28 last season. And definitely dismiss when the president called him a flopper for letting Rondo shove him into the front row of fans during a Celtics-Nets fight last November. Hump is ostensibly in like Flynn.

Nearly 20 minutes after Zwerling's post, NetsDaily.com all but confirmed Ainge's secret man-crush on the former tabloid cover boy. It tweeted that, on the day of the draft, it was informed "Ainge was a fan" and that "Boston liked Humphries more than just an expiring contract."

Mind blown. Celtics Nation must learn to like this guy, enough to keep him around for longer than just this season?

Hey, it might not be that bad. It's not like anybody's asking you to watch E! or Bravo.

Let's look at the bright side. Hump yields a 19.2 total win share over his career. Just a little over a year ago, he wrapped up his second consecutive season with 5.3 or higher in that department (well over the totals Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger have registered as Celtics).

Between fall 2010 and spring 2012, Humphries averaged 11.9 points (50.4 percent shooting) and 10.7 rebounds per game. During that span, he played in 136 games and only started 106 of them. This guy came off the bench nearly 60 percent of the 2010-11 season, and still maintained a double-double average!

The Celtics have a total logjam at power forward, with Bass, Sully, and presumably rookie Kelly Olynyk, who plays the stretch-4. Even Gerald Wallace and Jeff Green have been known to play the position. Given his strength and rebounding ability, Hump could end up the starting center for this Boston team (shorter people have done it).

If 2011-12 was Hump's peak, it's not a stretch to imagine he can return to the role of "quality producer." As previously mentioned, he's 28 years old. His minutes drastically decreased last year, from 35 per contest the season prior to only 18.3. Brooklyn made it blatantly clear it was headed in a different direction, and obviously wanted no part of his very public divorce proceedings with Kim Kardashian (he's been booed mercilessly at various arenas since late 2011).

Now, the 6-foot-9-inch, 236-pound big man says he's "happy" and wants to focus on the next chapter of his career. He believes he and Rondo will get along just fine, regardless of their little spat in the heat of battle.

"I think we'll have a good relationship," Humphries told CSNNE and others at the July 15 presser. "I think it happened within the game. You look at it, it really was nothing. The media tends to blow things out of proportion."

He's saying all the right things (even using media scapegoating as a deflection!). Now all he has to do is prove himself in a Celtics uniform.

Ainge will be watching every step of the way.

Sloan Piva lives in New England and covers the Boston Celtics . His articles have been published in a range of different magazines and websites. Find Sloan 24/7 on Twitter @SloanPiva.

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