Nets wasted no time acquiring Mehmet Okur
MARCUS HENRY Special to the AmNews | 12/30/2011, 3:27 p.m.
Lost among all the angst about Brook Lopez's foot injury, Deron Williams' possible re-signing with the Nets or if they can get Dwight Howard was the re-signing of forward Kris Humphries.
Sure, his marriage and subsequent breakup with Kim Kardashian made him a front-page spectacle, but the Nets don't care. In fact, an argument can be made that the Nets got him at a bargain when they re-signed him to a 1-year, $7 million deal.
Heading into the season, before the re-signing of Humphries, who averaged 10 points and 10.4 rebounds last year, the Nets were woefully weak in the paint and on the boards. And that would have been the case even with a healthy Lopez. If the Nets had let Humphries get away, there's no telling how bad things would've gotten.
Most observers agree the lockout and the failed union with Kardashian both played a big role in Humphries not getting a multi-year pact. And no one is sure if the Nets would have made an offer to Humphries if he had received a multi-year offer from another team. Those issues are in the past now.
Humphries made his presence felt in the Nets' 90-84 win over the Wizards on Monday with 21 points and 16 rebounds. A fundamentally sound player who can finish, Humphries should form a nice duo with Williams. The Wizards are not expected to make the playoffs, so clearly it won't get any easier for the Nets the rest of the season. But we're sure the Nets don't want to even think about what the season would've been like without Humphries.
The Nets made a fast trade immediately following the news of Lopez's injury, acquiring Mehmet Okur. The veteran forward played in just 13 games last year, but has career averages of 13.7 points and 7.1 rebounds. If Okur is in shape, healthy and motivated, he will be a great help be of great help to Humphries, which will keep the Nets competitive.