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John Schuhmann: The Hump Plan worked

Jared Wickerham

In an article about what the Knicks might ultimately be planning for J.R. Smith --a trade, John Schuhmann talks about how the Nets used Kris Humphries contract to make a much bigger transaction work. Schuhmann writes...

That’s exactly what the Brooklyn Nets did with Kris Humphries. When Humphries was a free agent last year, the Nets didn’t necessarily want to bring him back. But they had his Bird rights and couldn’t spend the same amount of money on another team’s free agent. So they signed Humphries to a two-year, $24 million contract, with the idea that they could eventually trade him for another player making similar money.

The plan worked, with the Nets using Humphries’ contract (set to expire after this season) in the deal that will bring Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn. If they had let Humphries sign elsewhere last summer, that trade couldn’t happen.

Indeed, the Nets - Celtics trade began as a much simpler transaction: Humphries and the 2016 first round pick for Pierce. Once there was an agreement among all parties --including Pierce-- the two sides moved on to Garnett, with two other first round picks, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph and a signed-and-traded Keith Bogans headed north for Garnett and Jason Terry. Not quite as simple as HBAP, but close enough.