Celtics working to add free-agent Hollins


Celtics working to add free-agent Hollins

MILWAUKEE Barring an unexpected contract snafu, Ryan Hollins will be joining the Boston Celtics.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com that the C's are planning to add the 7-foot veteran to the roster.

In order to make room for Hollins, the C's are expected to waive Chris Wilcox (heart condition) who will have surgery later this month and will be out for the remainder of the 2011-2012 season.

Of the big men available, Hollins was one of the few still remaining that the C's had interest in adding. Once Ronny Turiaf chose Miami and J.J. Hickson was claimed off waivers by Portland, Hollins was arguably the next best big man.

However, Boston's interest in Hollins goes back before he was waived by Cleveland on Tuesday.

Hollins, who played at UCLA, spent the lockout working out and playing in games with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Ainge said Garnett and Pierce urged him this summer to try and sign Hollins.

"They really liked his game and the way he could play with them," Ainge said. "I think he would fit in well with what we do."

It is unclear how much Hollins will help immediately.

For the C's, having another big on the roster is help in itself.

With both Wilcox and Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) out for the season, Boston's big-man rotation was down to Garnett, Brandon Bass and rookies Greg Stiemsma and JaJuan Johnson. Of that foursome, only Garnett (6-11) and Stiemsma (7-0) actually play the center position.

The 27-year-old Hollins has appeared in 299 games (54 starts) with Charlotte, Dallas, Minnesota and most recently, Cleveland. He has averaged 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game over the course of his career.

If the C's are able to get his contract ironed out today, he would most likely suit up for the first time against Washington on Sunday.