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Keyon Dooling Returns to Celtics on One-Year Deal

 

Keyon Dooling was a tremendous influence in the Celtics locker room this year…and he will be back for one more go-around. Paul Flannery of WEEI.com broke the news earlier this afternoon that the reserve guard has come to terms with the C’s:

Keyon Dooling has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Celtics, per a league source.

— Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) July 24, 2012

CH’s Take: My educated guess is that the deal is for the veteran’s minimum, as I’m not sure it would make sense for the C’s to spend the bi-annual exception on a guy like Dooling at this stage of his career.

If that’s the case, another A+ for Ainge and company with this deal. Dooling is probably as good as you are going to do, talent-wise, at the veteran’s minimum at this point. After a very slow start to the season, sidetracked primarily by a hip issue, the veteran guard found his stride in the postseason and hit 39.3 percent of his 3-pointers from downtown during Boston’s run to the Eastern Conference finals.

Dooling also provided Boston with some aggressive defense and energy off the bench, allowing Rajon Rondo to earn some crucial rest at junctures. Dooling outperformed himself off the court as well, serving as a tremendously well-respected influence inside a very veteran-heavy C’s locker room, giving it the kind of stability it had lacked in previous seasons by a member of the second unit. His voice was compared to that of a preacher’s by Brandon Bass, so I think that speaks for itself.

Roster-wise the Celtics are just about close to done at this juncture, as they have given themselves a significant depth in the backcourt with this move, with Avery Bradley sidelined for the first couple months. Once Bradley returns, minutes will come at a premium for Dooling, but that’s probably a good thing for the C’s at this stage in his career. Here’s a quick look at the depth chart as it currently stands for Boston. Competition between Kris Joseph, Dionte Christmas, and Jamar Smith for the final roster spot will be extremely tight in training camp:

PG:Rondo, Terry, Dooling
SG: Bradley, Lee, Christmas (Smith)
SF: Pierce, Green, Joseph
PF: Bass, Wilcox, Sullinger
C: Garnett, Collins, Melo

Other unsigned free agents: Marquis Daniels, Mickael Pietrus, Jermaine O’Neal (ha)

With this move, Pietrus seems unlikely to return, while Daniels could force out Christmas or Joseph if he is brought back. All in all though, you are likely looking at close to the final roster for Boston next season.

  • Phil

    I like it. Its questionable how much he offers the Cs on the court at this point considering his regular season last year was the definition of meh and he's a year older now, but the locker room value will be even higher. For minimum guys on the end of the bench, you can't ask for more than that. He'll have a bigger impact than guys like Collins and Melo who's only contributions are being able to put the star on the team Christmas tree without a step ladder. The Celtics locker room has been a huge part of this team's resurgence, and given the moves this offseason, should stay that way. This is the kind of cheap addition that can have a positive impact now and down the road.

    I do hope it doesn't push Joseph out of town, but I don't think it will.

  • Doctor56

    C's could pay Dooling up to $5,276,000 without any BAE. Early Bird rights.

    • Vince

      It's not my money, but let's hope they didn't go $1 over league minimum

  • http://twitter.com/Frankinho007 @Frankinho007

    When does training camp start by the way?

    • Danny Ainge

      I heard October, but not sure if that's right.

  • Sophomore

    I wonder how much Pietrus could get on the FA market. If they can fit him in, some way, I'd much rather have him than Joseph. (Sorry Kris, but we're in a win-now mode and your ceiling isn't high enough to keep you in a slot for the long term.)

  • missmd07

    Overal pretty satisfied with what Danny has done with the resources we had. Good job to Danny and company. Good job to our CBA capologist (MVP of the offseason)! We essentially signed two players (Lee and Terry) for mid-level exception. Great job Mike Zarren. I'd love for us to save the BAE for mid-season insurance in case someone unexpectedly gets waived by another team (hopeful a big who can rebound) or injury.. I'd love another center who can at least block shots and rebound.

  • jcbhan

    Love the signing. Remember, in the last few years, about 1/3 of our roster has had serious injury issues. That means that our 11th and 12th man become our 7th and 8th men at various points in the season. So how we fill out these spots is actually pretty important. I say give the 14th roster spot to Daniels (he can play the 1,2 or 3, has playoff experience, can play D and provides continuity to help teach the new guys and one less guy that the coaching staff needs to spend time with to teach the system), and let Joeseph, Smith and Christmas fight for the 15th spot.

  • ElRoz

    Dooling plays good defense on point guards and on shooting guards; can hit an open three here and there. I like the signing, but not sure how much he could contribute with Rondo, Terry, Lee, and Bradley (once he returns). Nevertheless, this is good insurance for the long regular season.

  • Montrossdad

    Not a fan…overrated on defense and increasingly limited on the offensive side.

    This team has no lack of veteran locker room guys…I would have liked to see a move towards a younger less “proven” talent with that roster spot.

    If this is win now mode, I’m not sure dooling contributes much to that between the baselines.

    • smalltownID

      Gracias padre de Eric. El solamente inteligente commento.

  • emg

    Dooling is good for one thing. Regulating Rondo's emotions. That makes him important.

    • Vince

      Makes him irreplaceable, too. I hope we can keep Christmas and Joseph, I think those guys will be important in a year or two

  • smalltownID

    First 13 words is all that is necessary…."Keyon Dooling was a tremendous influence in the Celtics locker room this year"

    Tells you everything you need to know about this guy and no need to read anymore. Might as well got the guy with "a crossover more lethal than a thousand cobra" in Brian Scal if it was all about the locker room. Damn. It was a waste of MLE last year and a waste of any money this year.

  • -jp

    He can suck up some minutes and mentor the young guys. Still would feel more comfortable with 1 more big instead of Smith or Christmas

  • Mike

    Good signing. Rondo appreciates having Dooling around and Dooling has been a positive influence on him. Won a few games with his energy and 3 point shooting. What more can you ask of a 12th man at best.
    Would still like them to sign Pietrus even if it takes biannual. Pietrus did a good job on Lebron and is big and strong enough to guard him. We need waves of fresh defenders to wear down Lebron. Since the road to #18 will go through Miami, having another good defender to slow Lebron would help the cause

  • Morpheus

    I’d prefer Pietrus for that final roster spot over Kris,Christmas and Quis, BUT he ain’t settling on that vets minimum.

    • smalltownID

      I'd prefer Kris, Christmas, Quis over Dooling. Why would we want another guy to mentor? If Rondo can't mentor than what does that say about his leadership? If Rondo respects a guy like Dooling over Allen than he is an idiot. I really don't get why we are bringing the kid back other than he knows the system and might not cause waves in the locker room.

      There are at least 10 guys in the league that would take the same role Dooling is with way more talent. I mean do we really think Dooling is going to temper Rondo? And if that IS needed then the next few years are going be really tough if Rondo is that big of a prima donna.

      • smalltownID

        Dooling is a poor man's Sam Cassel who also brought nothing to the table for us. Oh wait, yeah, our guys can't stop talking about the impact Cassel had on their careers and our trips to the finals.

        • Phil

          So if multiple players want to commend Sam Cassel's role in that run, why are you so sure that they're all full of crap? Isn't it more likely that you're the one underselling the value of a locker room? I don't claim to know about how the off field stuff affects a team, but I've seen teams fold after way less than what the Cs went through last year. They were as mentally tough as anyone, and that led to wins between the lines.

          I can see the argument for bringing back Pietrus over Dooling (Christmas is on the team, don't let the partial guarantee fool you,) but those other guys would contribute just as little next year. You do know that Daniels is completely done, right? Joseph is a late second rounder who might not be terrible in garbage time. There's no way he sees the court in the playoffs. You're arguing over production from the 15 spot; its completely irrelevant. We may as well factor in how many points Ty Lue is gonna score in the playoffs.

          Regarding Rondo, he's not perfect. He's not built to be a leader right now, and we all have to accept that. He's a great talent on the court, arguably the best PG, but he still has his warts. If it takes the 15th roster spot to get his best, that's absolutely worth it alone. If you need your 15th man to contribute to win in the playoffs, you're gonna lose. If your best player isn't at his best, you're gonna lose. Dooling brings more than just that though, and to call him only Rondo catnip is underselling the clubhouse.

          • smalltownID

            I was being sarcastic about commendations by former players about Sam Cassel's intangibles and influence.

            5 million dollars reported for Dooling is irrelevant? 5 million for a guy that isn't going to play in the playoffs. Even if it is a million dollars! I doubt it is that much but still.! Even if it is the 15 spot, which it is not, I'm arguing about a spot on the BOSTON CELTICS. Why not a young guy then if it is the 15 spot?

            If it is irrelevant Phil, how come everyone is so school girl happy about it? Saying evidence of another great offseason by Danny?

          • Phil

            First of all, where did you hear 5m? The Cs can only spend something like 2.5m max the rest of the year, otherwise they go over the 74m tax apron. They can't do that under any circumstance since they used the MLE already. The article mentions that giving Dooling the BAE (2m) would be a lot, and that its likely the vet min. Dooling will get 1m next year, the same any non rookie would get basically. You spend 500k extra over Jamar Smith. This signing basically knocks Marquis off the team, and that's it.

            Unless you really love Jamar Smith, there's nothing bad about this. The Cs weren't filling the team out with young guys after the Lee trade no matter what.

            As far as everyone being overexcited, this is a comments section of a Celtics blog. Believe it or not, a lot of fans are just homers without any regards to facts. There'd be celebration if The Cs brought Ryan Hollins back, just like there were people celebrating when they picked Melo about 20 spots too high. I think its unrealistic to expect major contributions from Dooling, but its not outrageous to expect basically a player coach who contributes intangibles and helps the team in other ways. Would you really rather have Jamar Smith (long shot to even play in the NBA,) or Marquis Daniels?(Just as much on-court production as Dooling.) Because that's the three way choice.

          • CG12

            Vet min of $1.3M, with the league to pick up almost $500,000 of that.

          • smalltownID

            Like I said, even if it is a million it is too much. I said it probably wasn't 5 million as reported above. Don't be disingenuous and oversimplify that it was Dooling or Jamar Smith/Quis.

            I didn't know this was a comments section of a celtics blog Phil (sarcasm). Odd that you would bring that up since you were giving me crap for making waves about the "15th spot".

          • Phil

            You asked why people were so "school girl happy" about the signing, and I told you why. Celtic fans don't hate the guy, so they're gonna be happy about him coming back. If you don't want to read homer Celtic comments, there are blogs about 29 other teams.

            I'm not giving you crap about making waves about the 15th spot, I'm just wondering why you're so against the signing. Its no money of substance (they don't have money to do anything else big, so the money not spent just goes back into Grousbeck's pocket.) And it really is a choice between Dooling/Daniels/Smith. Blame them for not going over whatever random player you might want, but Dooling coming back isn't why they're not signing him.

            I'm wondering if Dooling personally wronged at you some point in the past, or if you just picked a strange subject to troll about. You really haven't made any argument against a nominal investment in a locker room guy. Unless the locker room not mattering was an argument, but I think you countered your own point on that one for some reason.

          • smalltownID

            "And it really is a choice between Dooling/Daniels/Smith." I now understand your omniscience regarding this topic. I will never question (troll about it) again.

  • Morpheus

    Oh and love the Doodler back, another awesome signing by Danny. This has got to be one of Danny’s better off seasons since 08.

  • Sweeney

    I can't believe you mentioned Daniels name. It just makes my skin crawl to think of him ever donning our jersey again. You should be flogged for the suggestion, "while Daniels could force out Christmas or Joseph if he is brought back". Curse you if this happens.

    • Brian

      What's wrong with Daniels? Seems like he did ok in the playoff game against Miami when Doc finally decided to play him for him once. If the Celtics get in a pinch at the SFspot this year due to injuries I'll take a vet like Daniels over Joseph or Christmas.

      • GowGow

        I guess we're just tired of the same ol', same ol'. We want new blood to take up those little minutes.

  • CG12

    Good to have Dooling back. I don't think he ever really hit his stride last year. Which is a rather obvious point, and I guess what I really mean is that I think he does actually have a stride to hit – he can offer more than we saw last year. And realistically, he is now the 10th, 11th, or 12th guy. You can't expect to have a difference maker in those spots. You just want a guy who knows what he is doing and can step in without disrupting the team. Dooling is the poster child for that type of player. A consummate professional who will practice hard, mentor the young guys, and be ready at a moment's notice. I like it.

  • CG12

    Pietrus was a good fit for the C's last year, but it isn't going to work this year. With Green back and Lee brought in, that pretty much ended any chance he was coming back by cutting down the available minutes at the 2/3 spots. He might take the vet min somewhere he'd get real minutes, but that is not on the table with this roster. And I'm totally OK with that. The very end of the roster is for project/growth guys like Joseph, Melo, and Christmas, not bargain basement vets. Slots 1 – 9 are for guys who will get real minutes (approx 10+). Slots 10 – 13 are for spot minutes / match-up / injury replacement guys (e.g., Dooling, Collins). Slots 14 and 15 are for projects. The C's have the formula down.

  • Jeff

    This makes it time for CH to address the impact of the Celtics ownership of the D-League Red Claws. Can some of these fringe guys get sent down & called up as injuries take their inevitable toll?

  • Jamie

    Pietrus agent said that he will not play for the veteran minimum so he's out in Boston. His agent says he is listening to overseas offers so apparently he's not getting much love around the league either.

  • High Rollers

    In these basketball dog days of summer, I kind of like to reminisce a little. Today I'm thinking about the 2010 playoffs and the finals between the Celts and Lake Show. All this time later, it seems like a seminal year for the the league. 'Bron reached his low point, or what he must have thought was his low point until the finals flub the following year against Dallas. And he finally grew up. Rondo broke out as a signature — and consistent — playoff performer, showing incredible promise for the future. The C's put absolute grit on display with all of the naysayers at their highest decibel. For the first time in a (very, very, very) long time, the Lakers found a way to be tougher and a little less whiny, actually engaged in history, team, and competition a little more than the theatrics of hero-ball and Hollywood. A.k.a. Kobe finally grew up. (Definitely Celtics-inspired after '08.) And everybody (out of the stars and excluding Anthony and Howard) got a little more serious about what they do. Stern got a much more substantial product to peddle because of 2010, and we all got what we used to expect but then gave up on for a while… hoops beyond the hoopla.

    Hooray for the NBA! 2010 changed you for the better.

  • Justin

    Some Of Y’all Need To STFU Talking About Dooling And Rondo Like Seriously Rondo Had Respect For Everyone On The Celtics Including Ray Allen When He First Knew KG Ray Were His New Teammates He Apperciated It Yeah Ray And Rondo May Have Had Differences But He’s Had Them With Pierce And KG Rondo Is Human Meaning He’s Not Perfect And Makes Mistakes But Hell You Try Being A PG On A Team Like The 08 Celtics And Ur 21 Years Old This Team Is Stacked With Talent And A Great Coach In Doc Plus You Go To The NBA Finals And Nobody Knows You Then Your Growing Up Around Those Guys Then Two Years Later You Become The Leader Of That Team Having To Get Mad And Tell Ray KG And Pierce What Too Do Was Hard For Him But Being A Leader He Has To And Rondo Has Worked Hard To Earn What He Has Now Rondo Was In Trade Rumors A lot More Than Ray Was So Kill Dat Shit As For Dooling He Was A Good Pickup For Boston He Did Well Last Year He’s Like An Eddie House Motivater And A Good 3pt Shooter IDGAF Who Likes It Dooling Was Good And He Helps Rondo Let Him But I Sure Do Hope Pietrus Would Come Back He Would Be The Final Piece To This Puzzle He Was A Good Fit And Great Defender And Good Shooter And We Could Use Another Wing Man Since We Tryna Manager Pierce Mins And We Don’t Know What Jeff Green Can Do Yet I Would Like To See Pietrus Come Back His Defense Mental Toughness And His Respect For The Team Is Worth Paying Him More If I Was Danny I Would Bring Him Back Over Daniels Pietrus Is A Better Player In My Eyes This Team Has Really Took A 180 Since Last Year This Team Has Gotten Younger Better And Deep At The Same Time Can’t Wait To See How All This Comes Together.

    • CG12

      headache

    • lakershater13

      Well I cannot speak for anyone else but I certainly cannot even read this. .

  • Seda

    Not a big fan of Doolings addition. That said with the depth they now have in the backcourt, it's good to have somebody who already knows the system and balances out all the new blood and is a strong voice in the locker room.

    Maybe too much of a wild card…but I'd love to see the celts grab Kenyon Martin with their bi-annual exception to solidify the front court. Send Joseph and Smith down to the D-League and give Christmas the final roster spot. K-Mart would provide defensive toughness, rebounding, shot blocking, and the proper dose of nasty that goes missing the second Garnett sits down. He's playoff tested and not afraid of being an enforcer and still has enough of an offensive game to keep a defense honest. He could take pressure off Pierce by guarding LeBron, and can also battle bigs to allow Garnett to roam more.

    Love the roster so far, but if Garnett goes down, misses games, or takes games off to rest (highly likely) that's a pretty soft front court and not much of an improvement for a team that finished the season last in rebounding.

    • smalltownID

      "Not a big fan of Doolings addition." I agree

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