LAS VEGAS — The Wizards signed former Celtics forward Kris Humphries to a three-year, $13 million deal, according to an NBA source, and are working with the Celtics on compensation in a sign-and-trade agreement.
Humphries came to Boston last season as part of the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets. In the final year of a two-year, $24 million contract and playing on a rebuilding team, Humphries was a model citizen, impressing the organization with his professionalism and work ethic.
He also said he wanted to sign a new contract with the Celtics, but an NBA source said the club cooled on Humphries after showing interest when free agency began. He averaged 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 69 games with the Celtics and became one of their best interior players.
With the Celtics’ roster already at 17, the acquisition of Tyler Zeller from the Cavaliers, and the team’s desire to increase the minutes of Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger, there wasn’t room for Humphries.
It’s likely the Celtics will draw a trade exception from the Wizards in the deal at around $4.3 million, giving president of basketball operations Danny Ainge another opportunity to perhaps improve the roster with a trade, as he did by acquiring Zeller, Marcus Thornton, and a first-round pick from Cleveland and Brooklyn last week for a $10.3 million trade exception acquired in the Pierce trade.
Cody Zeller, a second year-forward for the Hornets, who is competing in the summer league here, is the youngest of the basketball-playing Zeller brothers. His older brother, Luke, played at Notre Dame, and Tyler starred at North Carolina. Cody was in elementary school when Luke, who played at Washington High School in Washington, Ind., began to draw attention from college coaches, including those at Butler University.
Brad Stevens was a 25-year-old assistant on Todd Lickliter’s staff and his job was to entertain 9-year-old Cody, who traveled on some recruiting trips with Tyler, who was a sophomore at the time.
“I have literally known coach Stevens since I was in the fourth grade,” said Cody about the current Celtics head man. “Actually, a lot of the times on the visits [to Butler], they would [talk] academics, and I’m in fourth grade, so I don’t care what business school Luke is going to. So coach Stevens and I would go out and play H-O-R-S-E against each other. We always joke about that every time we see each other.”
When asked who won the games, Cody said, “We’d go back and forth. He can shoot it.”
Cody said he believes Tyler will thrive in Boston under Stevens.
“I think he’s very excited for it,” said Cody. “I think it’s a great opportunity for him to play more. It is unique getting traded a few days before you get married, but luckily both him and his now wife are pretty easy going. I think it’s a good situation for him.”
The Celtics officially announced the signing of combo guard Avery Bradley to a four-year, $32 million deal with no options. Bradley, 23, has played four NBA seasons, and has dealt with injuries throughout his career. The Celtics are banking that Bradley can stay healthy and become one of the better defensive guards in the NBA.
“We see Avery as a key part of our chase of Banner 18,” Ainge said in a statement. “He keeps getting better and is still far from reaching his ceiling. We’re ecstatic to have him back.”
One agent told the Globe, “With Bradley, [Rajon] Rondo, and Marcus Smart defending, no guard is going to be able to get the ball up the court.”
The Celtics guaranteed the 2014-15 contract of Phil Pressey, according to an NBA source. Pressey has impressed the club with his vast improvement over the past year. He shot just 32.2 percent in the Orlando Summer Pro League last week. The Celtics are guard-heavy after acquiring Thornton and re-signing Bradley.