The Boston Celtics are beginning to figure out their plan for free agency, but they should not overlook the value of having a high-energy, veteran guard that can come off the bench.
The Celtics currently only have Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and E'Twaun Moore to fill out their guard positions. Even though Rondo is 26, a veteran presence at guard like Keyon Dooling is what this team needs.
Although Dooling underperformed last season, the Celtics would be wise to bring him back in order to put their team in the best position to succeed.
Dooling averaged 4.0 points on 40.5 percent shooting over 14.4 minutes per game. He never really got into his rhythm and only average 0.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.3 steals per game.
He brought up his offensive efficiency during the playoffs by connecting on 43.8 percent of his shots as well as 39.3 percent of shots beyond the arc.
All of his regular-season and postseason statistics were below his career averages, and it is likely he will improve with another season in Boston.
The key to the success of the Boston Celtics over the last few seasons has been their suffocating defense. This is where Keyon Dooling was not lacking last season.
He is an extremely quick combo guard that can guard both the point and shooting guard positions. His intensity fits in well with the Celtics' style of defense. If he is capable of playing at the level he displayed during the postseason, his defense alone would make him an asset off the bench.
It is rare that a player can step onto a team and instantly have the respect of his teammates as well as be willing to hold others accountable.
As The Providence Journal reports, Dooling worked extremely hard off the court to help the younger athletes develop, and he consistently provided energy and support from the sidelines. On several occasions, he even gave strong speeches during halftime or before games in order to keep the C's focused on the task at hand.
The Celtics should consider offering Keyon Dooling a relatively inexpensive contract in order to help fill out the bench.
His ability to provide his teammates with energy and support off the court is invaluable, and I believe he will be a very solid reserve guard next season.
Don't be surprised to see Dooling back in green to help keep the chemistry at a very stable level.