Sixers sign Jacob Pullen and Kris Humphries

By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)

With training camp set to kick off on Tuesday, the Sixers made two moves Friday to bring themselves one player shy of the 20-man camp roster limit. First, the team made a move to bring back someone who I’m sure needs no introduction for Philadelphia fans, after he played all of three games with the Sixers in the 2012 Orlando Summer League, averaging 13.7 ppg in 21.8 mins.

Signed to a training camp deal, the 27-year-old Pullen has never made his way onto the NBA stage, having spent his post-Kansas State career plying his trade in Europe. Most recently, the guard played for BC Khimki, a top-division Russian club, where he averaged 9.5 points in 16.6 minutes, shooting 36.5% from behind the arc.

As much as I enjoyed watching Pullen during his four-year career at Kansas State, it’s tough to envision a path for him to make the regular season roster with the Sixers. Philadelphia is starting Ben Simmons at “point guard”, with Markelle Fultz, Jerryd Bayless, and TJ McConnell also around to assume lead ball-handler duties. The Sixers already made a similar training camp signing in guard James Blackmon earlier in the summer. Look for Pullen to play some 4th quarter minutes in a handful of preseason games, but don’t expect him to stick around past mid-October.

More curiously, the team also signed big man Kris Humphries, most recently a member of the Atlanta Hawks, to a non-guaranteed deal.

Known more for his short-lived marriage to Kim Kardashian, the 32-year-old Humphries has bounced around the league after being selected in the late lottery by the Jazz in 2004. Without question, Humphries’ two best seasons came in New Jersey, where he averaged double-doubles for the Nets in both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Those two years were the only ones of his career where he averaged more than 21 minutes per game.

Bringing Humphries into camp has led to speculation in a couple different directions. One line of thought is that this is an added bit of insurance if Joel Embiid’s recovery from meniscus surgery doesn’t permit him back to action as quickly as the team and fans would like. However, the Sixers already have Richaun Holmes as a back-up center, and Amir Johnson making $11 million to instill veteran wisdom, not to mention Ben Simmons and Dario Saric being able to capably man the 5 spot, as needed.

Other folks think Humphries’ arrival may provide additional evidence the team is ready to trade Jahlil Okafor. The fact is, with or without Kris Humphries, the Sixers are ready to trade Jahlil Okafor. More than likely, the former Minnesota Golden Gopher was brought in because Bryan Colangelo thinks another veteran, borderline rotation player can only help create that “environment of winning” in training camp. Like Pullen, I wouldn’t count on Humphries to don any of Philadelphia’s four uniforms during the regular season.

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