The Charlotte Bobcats and Brooklyn Nets have had discussions about a possible trade of shooting guard Ben Gordon for power forward Kris Humphries, two NBA sources confirmed.
The possible deal, first reported by espn.com, does not appear to be imminent. It would address the Bobcats’ size and rebounding problems while giving up perimeter scoring, where the Bobcats are relatively strong.
Making a deal work under salary-cap rules would be easy because Gordon and Humphries have comparable contracts. Humphries makes $12 million this season, while Gordon makes $12.4 million. Both players have one season beyond this one on their deals.
The Bobcats pursued Humphries last summer in free agency before he re-signed with the Nets. His season averages – six points and 6.4 rebounds – are well off his previous two seasons, when he averaged a double-double in points and rebounds.
His role has diminished considerably, with interim Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo increasingly turning to Reggie Evans at power forward. Humphries played six, 21 and seven minutes in his past three games.
If he can regain his rebounding form, he’d certainly help: The Bobcats are 24th among 30 NBA teams in rebounds per game and are second-worst in the league in allowing opponent offensive boards (12.6 per game).
The Bobcats lost starting power forward Byron Mullens for six weeks to a sprained ankle, and none of the other power forwards – Tyrus Thomas, Hakim Warrick or Jeff Adrien – particularly established themselves in Mullens’ absence. Mullens will be a restricted free agent after this season.
Gordon came to the Bobcats in a June trade with the Detroit Pistons. The Bobcats gave up small forward Corey Maggette for Gordon and a future first-round pick.
An eight-season NBA veteran, Gordon is third on the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game. While he’s a sometimes dynamic scorer, the Bobcats have an abundance of other scoring guards (Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson and Reggie Williams).