Ryan Hollins is the newest member of your Boston Celtics, and those who don't know of the journeyman big are left wondering what, if anything, he can bring to the table for a team full of veterans on their last legs trying to make one more run at a championship.
It is certainly a valid question. After all, Hollins was cut loose by the Cleveland Cavaliers -- a 17-27 basketball team that is struggling to stay afloat in a relatively weak Eastern Conference. If they Cavs don't want you, that's not a good sign.
Don't let that fool you, though, because Hollins brings some value. But first, his back story.
Hollins is a 27-year-old center in his sixth season in the league . He has played for five different franchises, beginning his career with the Charlotte Bobcats at age 22 in the 2006-07 season. Hollins played a litte more than two seasons in Charlotte, never truly making an impact, before being shipped to the Dallas Mavericks in 2009, where he played 27 games.
The next stop on the Hollins career tour came with the Minnesota Timberwovles, where he put together the best season of his career. Hollins averaged a career-best 6.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 73 games with the T'Wolves in 2009-10, but he was shipped to the Cavs the next offseason, where he would again return to relative mediocrity.
So what are the Celtics getting in Hollins? Unfortunately, not much. Outside of his one season in Minnesota, Hollins has never really been able to put together a somewhat productive season, and that is certainly worrisome. Hollins fails in the one area that most bigs are expected to excel in, rebounding, and his only claim to fame (or something like that) is his athleticism, which can result in dunks now and again. All in all, the word on Hollins is far from flattering.
"Ryan Hollins is not a good basketball player. Let's just get that out there so there are no misunderstandings." said Conrad Kaczmarek, editor of Fear The Sword, the Cleveland Cavaliers blog on the SB Nation network. "The Celtics did not sign this guy to save the season and carry the team into the playoffs. He could barely get minutes on the Cavaliers, so that should tell you something. As far as I know, the split was mutual. Hollins asked to be waived and the Cavs were happy to do it.
"He's tall and athletic, but has no real basketball skills. He's a terrible rebounder. He has no actual offensive skills other than dunking the ball, but even that he doesn't do particularly well. He does not play like he's 7-feet tall. He gets blocked at the rim far too often and drops passes thrown directly at him. The Celtics have basically just been looking for warm bodies while everybody else is hurt or ancient, so I understand the move. He's tall and he can get six fouls per game. If you're expecting a whole lot more than that, you'll probably end up being disappointed."
Really, that's all there is to Hollins. Depressed? Don't be, unless you were expecting Hollins to be the savior (and if you were, I can recommend several therapists for you). Kaczmarek hits the nail right on the head: he's a healthy body. At this point, that helps the Celtics. Considering the recent losses of Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Wilcox, who was waived after a heart issue that would require season-ending surgery was discovered, Hollins addition helps eat up minutes.
Come playoff time, Hollins won't sniff any minutes. If he does, then the Celtics are doomed, because it means they have suffered significant injuries to the Big Four. But as long as most of Hollins' time in green is spent on the bench and the expectations of him are set very low, things shouldn't be all that different than they are now.