Keyon Dooling Signs with Memphis Grizzlies

Andy HuSenior Writer IIApril 1, 2013

June 5, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Keyon Dooling (51) reacts after making a three-point basket during the second half in game five of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat of the 2012 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Boston won 94-90. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies have orchestrated some of the biggest game-changing trades this season, sending Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors in a six-player, three-team trade (via ESPN).

Even by trading away, arguably, their best player and face of the franchise for the past six seasons, the Grizzlies still managed to construct a solid team that could compete in the playoffs.

They still need a few missing holes to fill in their team, and one of them is there lack of depth in the backcourt.

Mike Conley, Jerryd Bayless and Tony Allen receive the majority of the minutes at the one and two spots, but the team could certainly use a solid, playoff-experienced veteran to provide more stability in the backcourt.

Memphis believes it found its answer in Keyon Dooling, who tweeted that he signed with the team.

Although Keyon Dooling may not be the first name that comes to mind when talking about playoff-tested veterans, the journeyman was part of the 2011-12 Boston Celtics squad that nearly reached the NBA Finals before bowing out in seven games to the Miami Heat.

Dooling's career averages may not be appealing, but his per-36 minute career averages round out to 12.9 points and 4.1 assists (per Basketball Reference).

He won't garner heavy minutes during the playoffs, but he is certainly somebody who could be called upon to provide valuable minutes while the starting guards for the Grizzlies are resting.

Even though the Grizzlies were considered championship contenders near the beginning of the season, the talks have cooled down a bit after they traded away one of their best players for some role players and young prospects.

It's unusual that a championship contending team would shake up their roster midway through the season, but the Grizzlies felt confident that the trade would improve the team.

So far, the results have been comparable to their early season surge, but only time will tell, as the playoffs are quickly approaching.

The addition of Dooling will certainly bolster the Grizzlies' lackluster bench, but will he be the player who pushes them over the top against other Western Conference elites like the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs? Probably not.