In a move that probably won’t make much of an impact on the court, the Boston Celtics have lost backup point guard Keyon Dooling and added perennial underachiever Darko Milicic.
Dooling, a 12-year veteran, was officially waived this afternoon, but not because the Celtics were no longer interested in his services. According to reports, Dooling has chosen to call it a career, citing a desire to pursue other ventures and spend more time with his family. He’ll be remembered fondly by fans like me for his scrappy defense, impressive leaping ability, and this crossover on Vladimir Radmanovic.
Milicic, on the other hand, has elected to give it another go with his sixth team in eight years. According to SI.com, the Cs will be signing the Serbian big man to a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum. While I do feel it necessary to question the thought process of anyone who continues to hold out hope for Milicic, I suppose the Cs are simply looking at this as a cost-effective method of adding seven more feet to their frontcourt (for the next two seasons Darko will continue to be paid substantially, but by the Timberwolves). Seems sensible enough… but I’m still not sold on this acquisition.
Like I said, this whole 12th-man swap won’t likely have a big effect on the product the Celtics put out on the floor this coming season. However, I’d argue that it could certainly alter the team’s locker-room dynamics. I mean, Keyon Dooling and Darko Millicic are both career six-to-seven point scorers… but one is (or was) a Vice President on the NBAPA’s Executive Committee, and the other is… well, Darko Milicic. With all due respect to Darko, I don’t think he possesses the leadership qualities of a Keyon Dooling, nor am I convinced that he’ll mesh well with the intense, abrasive character that is Kevin Garnett.
Given that Darko has been unable to produce much of anything under the guidance of anyone, I’m wary that the Celtics won’t receive much of a return on this particular investment. Being that the investment is such a small one, I suppose this isn’t the end of the world. What worries me a little bit is Darko’s history of indifference, which clashes with the collective attitude in Boston. In all honesty, I don’t see how this can possibly end well, and I’m going to predict that this will be the season that finally drives Milicic back overseas.