- Chris Forsberg, Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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Dooling, who cemented himself as a locker room leader last season and overcame early injuries to be a solid on-court contributor in the second half of the year, will ink a one-year, veteran-minimum deal.
Dooling's agent, Kenge Stevenson, said his client is excited to be back in Boston. The Celtics owned Dooling's rights, but will re-sign him at a one-year minimum deal. Dooling, who will earn $1.35 million (of which the Celtics are responsible for only $854,389) is taking a pay cut (he made $2.2 million last season), but clearly enjoyed his time in Boston and wants to be part of another title quest.
The 32-year-old Dooling averaged four points and 1.1 assists over 14.4 minutes in 46 regular-season appearances last season. More importantly, he emerged as a strong voice in a veteran locker room and was a person that young guards, including Rajon Rondo, on the team looked up to.
Dooling also emerged as a fan favorite and created some bench continuity when he and fellow reserve Marquis Daniels created the "Flexin'" craze, a double fist-pump sideline celebration that took a life of its own into the playoffs.
When rookie center Fab Melo asked for his college number last month, he was told 51 was unavailable as the team was seemingly keeping it warm for Dooling. Once all the other pieces came together, the sides were able to hammer out a deal.
Backup combo-guard Keyon Dooling is returning to the Boston Celtics on a one-year deal, his agent said.