New Orleans Pelicans MLE Tournament: Kris Humphries vs. Jordan Hamilton

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Published: June 13, 2014
K hmp

This round of the MLE Tournament pits Kris Humphries against Jordan Hamilton. For prior matchups, click here. 

Kris Humphries (2 Years and $9 million)

by Jake Madison

“And with the last pick of the Bourbon Street Shots’ MLE Tournament, Jake J. Madison selects Kris Humpries.”

That’s not what I wanted to hear, I thought. Is there no one left on the board?

The BSS commissioner gave me a sly smile like he knew this would be a tough player to argue. And I won’t lie, I was concerned, too. But I like a challenge. Let’s do this, I thought. And let’s get aggressive and go out and win this.

While researching Humphries I focused less on his on-court production and instead focused on his marriage to Kim Kardashian. That’s where his value really comes to the top. Look, anyone can play well—poorly if your name is Jordan Hamilton (there’s a chance that statement contains zero research)—but how many of you could survive being married to this?

 

Scary kim

Regardless of what you think of her looks, her personality seems insufferable. You know what being married to her tells me? Two things. Toughness and character.

Humphries survived over two whole months of absolute hell. Boom. He’s the team’s enforcer. You need someone to punch Blake Griffin in the cortchal region? Kris Humphries. Someone messes with Anthony Davis? Humphries. LeBron James gets tired of berating Mario Chamlers? Hell, let Kris do it. I bet he has some anger to vent.

Now for character. Humphries supposedly turned down an offer of $10 million from Kim to finalize their divorce. He turned it down for a few reasons. Number one: It wasn’t about the money. Imagine the moral fiber it takes to turn down $10 million to divorce someone you don’t even like. He wanted an annulment so that he could get married inside a church later on with a clean conscience. What an absolutely upstanding gentleman. You only wish your daughters found a guy this great. Monty Williams would absolutely love him.

Other reasons Monty would love to have Humpries on the team: He doesn’t shoot three-pointers. Only two attempts all season.

Allow me to touch on the 72 days of marriage. The fact that it was short I find a good statistic in this case. Bailing on the marriage after 72 days shows a lack of stubbornness. He knows when something isn’t working and takes the steps to make a change. That attitude will 100% rub off on Monty. 100%.

Case closed already.

But let me convince you some more with actually basketball stats taken out of context.

In ten seasons he has a career average per 36 minutes of 13.4 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks.

He has HIGHER REBOUNDING PERCENTAGES THAN ANTHONY DAVIS. That needed to be in all caps.

He’s a good mid-range shooter, and can effective replace Jason Smith.

Let me take a moment and reflect on the best game Humpries had last season. March 16th, 2014. He hits a buzzer beater  which sends the Pelicans/Celtics game to overtime. It was a miraculous shot. He is clutch; what else is there to say? But more than that, it allowed Anthony Davis to post his 40 point, 21 rebound night. He’s so selfless that when he was on the other team he was helping out his future teammates. Such a high character teammate.

And finally I want to ask you a question. Do you want to see these two people sitting courtside?

 

atgame

 

Kimkayne1

I didn’t think so. If the Pelicans sign Humphries, I’d be willing to bet they don’t attend a game in the Smoothie King Center.

We’re all winners then.

 

Jordan Hamilton (2 Years and $5.5 million)

by Mason Ginsberg

All of the other players in this MLE tournament are either one-year rentals/stopgaps before getting Eric Gordon off the books, or multi-year commitments for dollar amounts that will have a noticeable impact on future cap space. What if there were a third option? A player who could be signed for more than one year for a cheap price tag and would help the Pelicans at a need position right now? Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. Jordan Hamilton.

For those of you who are largely unfamiliar with Hamilton, he is a 23 year old 6’8″ small forward who just completed his third year in the NBA out of the University of Texas (26th pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft). He was involved in a trade deadline deal earlier this year that sent him from Denver to Houston in exchange for point guard Aaron Brooks, as Rockets GM Daryl Morey said “the Rockets have had their eyes on Hamilton for a while because of his athleticism and skill.” More from Morey about what he likes about Hamilton:

His shooting and he is a really great rebounder. One of our issues at the wing is when Dwight (Howard) goes to block a shot, our rebounding behind him has been challenged and we think Jordan can come in and shore that up.”

Morey’s comments about Hamilton speaks to his versatility on the offensive side of the ball. In the 2013-14 NBA season, there were 20 players (1,000+ minutes played) who made at least 35% of their 3 point shots while posting a defensive rebound rate of 17% or better. This list includes players by the names of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Paul George, Serge Ibaka, Dirk Nowitzki… and Jordan Hamilton. If you add a steal rate of at least 2% of opponents’ possessions to the parameters, that count drops to just six – LeBron, George, Pierce, Millsap, Kawhi Leonard, and Hamilton. Pretty elite company, and that’s after playing about two thirds of those minutes with a Denver team that lacked the (healthy) offensive talent necessary to get him many open looks. Imagine how many opportunities he would receive surrounded by Holiday, Evans, Anderson, and Davis?

Speaking of those opportunities – one of the best parts about Hamilton’s offense is that he shoots from efficient locations. Take a look at his 2013-14 shot distribution:

Shotchart_1402492658676

As you can see, less than an eighth of Hamilton’s total shot attempts came from the dreaded “mid-range” area, compared to over half of his total attempts from beyond the arc. It is a very encouraging sign to see a player as young as Hamilton with that kind of shot selection.

Defensively, Hamilton has shown a lot of promise, particularly in his most recent season. In both Denver and Houston, he held opposing small forwards (where he played the vast majority of his minutes) to below average PERs.  He still needs to work on his close-outs against good spot-up shooters, but he is an excellent athlete who moves well laterally and makes it very tough for opponents to get past him.

As for his opponent, Kris Humphries, my only question is – why? Another power forward? At least some of the other PFs in this tourney are hybrid bigs who can play center as well, but Hump is strictly a 4. Or at least, he was until this past season, when he saw a considerable amount of minutes as the team’s center; unfortunately for him, that didn’t go so well. Per 82games, he allowed a PER of over 20 and an effective field goal percentage of over 60% to opposing centers while filling that position for the Celtics. I’ll be the first to say that he is solid on the offensive side of the ball, and his rebounding is borderline elite. The problem is that signing him would be a poor usage of very limited cap space, as he can’t effectively play the 5 and he is behind both Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson at the 4. With so much money tied up in Holiday, Evans, Anderson, and Gordon (which will eventually transition to Davis when he is due for his extension), $4.5 million for another power forward is simply unjustifiable.

Of all 16 candidates in this Mid-Level Exception Tournament, no one is expected to be cheaper to sign than Jordan Hamilton, and he may have the best upside of any of those expensive options (especially when considering the fact that PJ Tucker will turn 30 next May). Hamilton’s defense will only get better, and as long as he continues to work on his 35.8% career 3-point percentage, there is no doubt that he can be a key piece for a playoff team. For a price tag of under $3 million per season at a position of such need for the Pelicans, Jordan Hamilton would be a low-risk, possibly high reward signing whose emergence would propel New Orleans even closer to their ideal roster.