NBA Free Agent Day: Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries; Earning their pay?

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

A look at how the Nets spent some of their money this summer.

As part of a SB Nation team-site theme day, we take a look at some free agent signings this summer and, well, how they ended up working out -- or not -- for the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets spent plenty of money this summer -- almost too much -- filling out their roster after an unsuccessful bid to land Dwight Howard.

As what was called a "Plan B," the Nets handed over $60 million over four years to Brook Lopez, coming off what really was a missed season and followed that up by giving Kris Humphries $24 million over two years, as he was coming off a season in which he played 62 games, averaging 34 minutes, 13.8 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets.

The money, along with the years, almost seemed reasonable for a double-double machine like Hump, while Lopez received a hefty contract for a big man who played just five games the season prior and was struggling to grab more than six rebounds -- as a 7-footer -- over the previous two seasons.

Too much money?

Well, considering the way he's playing this season, they seemed to have gotten a bargain for Lopez. Humphries, on the other hand, hasn't done much to earn his pay at all.

In this season, Hump is earning $12 million, while Lopez is getting paid $13.6 million.

Here's what you get for those prices, respectively:

(Click to enlarge...)

Brook_lopez_kris_humphries_medium

Humphries' injury aside, you can see that even when healthy he's not "getting it done," while Brook Lopez is proving to be one of the most valuable centers in the NBA. Both his offense and defense have improved this season, while Hump has regressed slightly to the point where his per-minute efficiency is "OK," but certainly not worth $12 million.

And this is considering that early in the season Humphries was actually providing decent value, with five double-doubles in his first 17 games of the season -- mind you, he was only playing 24-plus minutes per game.

Since December 4, 2012, though, Hump has zero double-doubles and has only once pulled in double-digit rebounds (12 games). There you go, for $12 million.

On the flip, his season PER is at his Brooklyn-low 14.5, compared to Andray Blatche whose PER is 23.3, and his per-minute efficiency trumps Humprhries, posting a 19.6-point and 10.8-rebound per-36 line. Meaning, the Nets are getting fantastic value from Blatche at $854k, compared to Humphries.

Lopez, on the other hand, is irreplaceable for the Nets. It just can't be done.

We can look at the offensive and defensive ratings with Lopez on the court vs. off the court, plus the top 5-man units, but how about we just look at wins and losses?

Without Lopez, the Nets are 2-5 with those wins coming against the Raptors and Magic. Without Humphries, they are 5-2.

My point? It's been a tough start for Humphries, who by no means is done for, but who needs to re-find his game. Lopez, on the other hand, has done a great job of earning his paycheck. In fact, you could argue that he's underpaid.

Ok, maybe I won't go that far, but he's been a highly successful signing this season, and is arguably the team's MVP to date.

See more NBA Free Agent Day posts here.

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