Both these players seem identical to me. They are both 7-foot centers that give very limited offense and defense to any team they've joined. With players that are so much alike, which player gets knocked out of the rotation or even waived? I honestly cannot see the point of having 2, 7-foot, 250+ pound centers who are injury-prone, and don't provide any instant offense, defense, or even an added spark to the Celtic team.
Darko Milicic: This is a 7-foot, 275 pound center out of Serbia. His career stats don't jump out at you: 6 points, 4 rebounds, going 46% from the field in about 19 minutes of playing time. In his last season with the Timberwolves, he averaged 5 points, and 3 rebounds, shooting 45% from the field in 16 minutes of playing time. Milicic spent his last season playing next to all-star Kevin Love (who was 2nd in the NBA in rebounding next to only Dwight Howard) and managed to collect 11% of the total rebounds in his 29 games (Love collected 19% of total rebounds). Darko's defensive rating is 106 which will be important to note since he may be used to counter post-offensive nightmares like Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum. Last season, Darko averaged only 4 minutes against the Orlando Magic, and put up no significant stats. He didn't grab a rebound, or even attempt a shot. Against the Lakers however, Darko averaged 4 points and a rebound in 13 minutes shooting 60% from the field (although he only attempted 5 shots). Offensively, I'm not sure what to expect out of Darko. He had an offensive rating of 88 last season. Perhaps with Rondo as his point guard his offensive numbers can take a slight jump, although I wouldn't count on Milicic averaging anything past 7 points (I hope he proves me wrong). He's also a veteran with some playoff experience. In his last playoff appearance, Milicic averaged 12 points, 5 rebounds, shooting 59% from the field in about 29 minutes of play with the Orlando Magic in the 2006-2007 season (under head coach Brian Hill). Darko is still only 27 years old so he has much room for growing, there's a lot that he can learn from arguably the greatest Timberwolf of all-time (Kevin Garnett).
Jason Collins: This is a 7-foot, 255 pound center out of Stanford University, and acquired from the Atlanta Hawks. His career numbers aren't a pretty sight either. He averages 4 points, and 4 rebounds shooting 41% from the field in 21 minutes. Last season with the Hawks, Collins averaged 1 point, 2 rebounds, shooting 40% in 10 minutes of playing time. Collins also played next to a very good rebounder in Josh Smith (although he didn't start most of his games like Milicic did in his last season with Minnesota). Collins managed to collect about 9% of the total rebounds, next to Smith's 16%. Collins has a defensive rating of 104 which will be useful against the bigger/better offensive centers in the NBA. Once again however, offensively I wouldn't expect too much. Against the Orlando Magic, Collins (similar to Milicic) put up no significant numbers. He missed his only 2 shot attempts, and he didn't play a game against the Lakers last season. I'm hoping that with Rondo as his point guard and Kevin Garnett as his mentor, he'll be a bit more productive. Collins has loads of experience, showing up in the playoffs 9 times (most of them coming with the Nets). Collins in his last playoff performance (against the Celtics) averaged 2 points, and 2 rebounds, going for 55% from the field in 17 minutes. Collins is 34 or 35, and so his time in the NBA is starting to dwindle down, but hopefully he can make a decent stint with the Celtics.
What are your thoughts on these two? Are the Celtics better off choosing one over the other? If you think so, which one? Could they be better off keeping both of them?