Celtics re-sign swingman Daniels
The Celtics continued reassembly of last season's roster Thursday, re-signing Marquis Daniels for the 2010-11 season.
The seventh-year swingman agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed to ESPN.com Thursday evening.
Signed with the biannual exception last summer, Daniels was regarded as a potential steal coming off a season in which he averaged 13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in 54 appearances for the Indiana Pacers.
But Daniels tore a ligament in his left thumb early in the 2009-10 season and never found a role upon returning to the lineup. He averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game over 51 appearances, but played sparingly late in the season and through the playoffs.
Daniels suffered a concussion in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Orlando Magic and missed much of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. He logged a mere four minutes in Game 6 of that series.
A return engagement in Boston seemed unlikely, but the departure of Tony Allen, who signed a three-year deal with Memphis, left Boston dangerously thin on the wings. In a free-agent market that offered little in the way of impact bodies, particularly with Boston able to offer only the veteran minimum, the Celtics appear willing to roll the dice again with Daniels.
The Celtics boasted non-Bird Rights with Daniels, allowing them to re-sign him for up to 120 percent of his 2010-11 value. With a one-year pact, he'll get another shot at showing he can be the type of player who commanded upward of $6.8 million in Indiana. Meanwhile, Boston gets a low-cost player with high-reward potential and a reputation as a solid defender, something they'll sorely miss without Allen.
Daniels is an oft-injured player who has missed fewer than 20 games in a season just once (playing 74 games for Indiana in 2007-08). Of 574 possible regular-season games since he's come into the league, Daniels has sat out a whopping 172 of them.
But when healthy, he's one of the most versatile wings in the league (he played a lot of backup point guard for Boston at the start of the 2009-10 season) and can defend the opposition's best player when Paul Pierce or Ray Allen is not on the floor.
The Celtics have now re-signed Pierce, Ray Allen, Nate Robinson and Daniels this offseason, keeping the core of their near-championship team together even on a tight budget.
Boston used its midlevel exception to sign Jermaine O'Neal to a two-year contract and he's likely to begin the season as the team's starting center as Kendrick Perkins recovers from offseason ACL surgery. When Perkins returns, O'Neal could slide into a reserve role similar to the one occupied by Rasheed Wallace last season.
Wallace suggested to the Celtics that he planned to retire after Boston's Game 7 loss to the Lakers in the Finals. It remains unclear if he's pondering a potential return, or simply allowing the Celtics to shop his contract on the offseason trade market.
Chris Forsberg is the Celtics reporter for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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