Say what you will about erstwhile Los Angeles Clippers center Ryan Hollins (and I have said plenty over the last couple of seasons), but the man is about to begin his ninth season of being paid to play basketball (longer than that if you include his days at UCLA and in AAU ball before he entered the NBA). Hollins is about to sign a new one year deal with the Sacramento Kings.
It's a testament to the old adage that you can't teach size. Hollins is pretty limited in terms of his skills, but he is a very tall human, and he's unusually athletic (from a running and jumping standpoint) for a human his size. The NBA always seems to find a place for those guys, as they've found a place for Hollins for nine seasons now.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with what Hollins did for the Clippers. He is a hard worker, he plays with a lot of energy, and he provided useful minutes when called upon. But he'll never be a major contributor on a good team, because that's just not who he is.
Of the three reserve bigs who began the season with the Clippers last year, Hollins is the only one the team kept -- in fact, they had to pay trade partners to take the other two, Byron Mullens and Antawn Jamison. Which says that Hollins wasn't a total disaster. But it speaks volumes about the overall strength of the backup bigs on this year's edition that Hollins would be the seventh big were he actually on the roster. The Clippers now have starters Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and reserves Spencer Hawes, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu and Ekpe Udoh who they like better. (Although it must be said that there's no real guarantee that Udoh is any better than Hollins, at least he is younger.)
But let's say it again -- Ryan Hollins is now a nine-year NBA veteran, and that's not nothing. He's a terrific teammate and a great towel-waver. Based on observed interactions with Coach Doc Rivers, Hollins was probably not a great decision maker on the court -- he definitely led the team in beratings-per-minute last season -- but coaches love effort and that makes up for a lot.
Hollins joins his former UCLA and Clippers teammate Darren Collison in the state capital. And lo and behold, it's not a terrible situation for Ryan, as he's currently going to slot in as the backup to DeMarcus Cousins. If he handles his minutes well, he'll no doubt become a 10 year veteran about a year from now. Good for him.