In terms of value, there have been very few contracts handed out this year as unreasonable as the 2-year $24 million deal the Brooklyn Nets gave Kris Humphries.
Humphries, an undersized 6'9 235 power forward who can't create his own shot or play above-average defense, is best suited as a back-up 4. Darrell Arthur, a Dallas product from South Oak Cliff High School, is a similar player and he received a 3-year $9 million deal from the Memphis Grizzlies.
He'll be a useful player for the Nets, but his real value comes as a trade asset. After giving big money to Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez, Brooklyn won't have the salary cap flexibility to add any more free agents, but they are still allowed to exceed the cap to pay Humphries because they have his "Larry Bird" rights.
As a result, his salary slot can now be used in trade deals with other over the cap teams (i.e Orlando) to absorb some of their bad contracts. He can't be dealt until January 15, but if Howard is still with the Magic, you can bet the Nets will be calling.
Humphries' contract is another sign that Mikhail Prokhorov won't be constrained by the new luxury tax penalties in the CBA, something which has given Mark Cuban pause. If the Howard trade comes down to who is willing to spend the most money, for the first time in Cuban's reign, the Mavericks won't have the upper hand.
For all the latest news and notes on the Mavericks free agency plans, stay tuned to the SB Nation Dallas story-stream as well as Mavs Moneyball.