Ryan's Place

Monday, July 25, 2005

Magic Sign Keyon Dooling

The Orlando Magic reached a contract agreement Friday with free-agent point guard Keyon Dooling, giving them more flexibility to use Steve Francis at shooting guard.

Although no contracts can be signed until the NBA and its players finalize a new collective bargaining agreement, league sources confirmed the agreement with Dooling, worth an estimated $10 million over three years.

Dooling played as a reserve last season in Miami, where he averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 assists in 16 minutes per game. In the playoffs, he averaged 7.3 points and 1.7 assists in 17.6 minutes.

The Magic originally drafted Dooling in 2000 from the University of Missouri, but they traded his rights to the Los Angeles Clippers with Corey Maggette and Derek Strong as part of a major salary-cap purge to pursue free agents that summer. With that salary-cap room, they acquired forward Grant Hill and guard Tracy McGrady.

According to sources, Dooling was promised a "good chance to start," something that he didn't receive last season in Miami, where he played behind Heat guards Dwyane Wade and Damon Jones.

Dooling, from Fort Lauderdale, was pursued by several teams and met earlier this week with the New Jersey Nets, who wanted him as a backup guard. The Heat also wanted to re-sign him -- but for considerably less money.


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