The trip was exhausting and, for Kris Humphries, depressing.

Mikhail Prokhorov bought the New Jersey Nets, and as a kickoff to the 2010 exhibition season, the oligarch owner flew his new team to Moscow for practice. Games in Beijing and Shanghai followed.

And Humphries was buried. The Nets had traded for Troy Murphy, drafted Derrick Favors, and even added the antiquarian Joe Smith. That left Humphries as the fourth power forward.

“I got traded from Dallas to the Nets when they were having that really bad year (2008-09). They had three wins when I got there, and it was all about, ‘We’re not going to set this record (for losses),’ ” the Celtics forward said. “We were dysfunctional in every way from personalities to on the court, every which way. I got through that year, played consistent minutes, and the next year Avery Johnson comes in. He’s a new coach, brings in players he wanted. I picked up my player option and I was just there on the outskirts.

“I just kept working. I didn’t even play much in the preseason. That was one of the toughest times in my life right there. I was four deep, not playing. So I kept working.”

It all changed in a video session following an early-season game against Miami. Humphries blocked a reverse dunk attempt by Dwyane Wade, and then sprinted down the other end to finish the play with a layup.

Johnson kept replaying the sequence.

“Guys on this team want minutes? This is what they have to do,” he said, using a guy who wasn’t getting minutes as the example.

Humphries felt a smile growing inside.

“I was like, ‘Man, does this mean I might be getting some minutes here soon?’ ” he said.

Favors, still attempting to reach his potential in Utah, ultimately came off the bench behind Humphries. Murphy was traded to Golden State the following February. Smith, tied with three other players for the most stops (15) in NBA history, was traded to his last team, the Lakers, that December.

Humphries’ career progression never varies. He starts at a low ebb, like the 12.4 minutes he averaged over 13 games last November under Brad Stevens. Then he climbs. By December he had averaged 20.5 minutes in 10 games, and 24.9 minutes in 16 games in January.