Friday, July 29, 2011

Kenyon Dooling to play for Efes?

Bucks guard Keyon Dooling is nearing agreement on a contract with Efes Istanbul, the Turkish team which recently signed New Jersey Nets guard Sasha Vujacic.

Kenge Stevenson, the Dallas-based agent for Dooling, said progress is being made and a deal with Efes could be completed in the next few days.

Dooling is the first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association and has been active in the process to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. League owners imposed a lockout on July 1 when the previous CBA expired, and no real progress has been made since then.

Stevenson said Dooling would expect to play in Turkey next season even if the lockout ends and any opt-out clause would be for legal purposes. The veteran has one year and $2 million remaining on his contract with the Bucks, but Stevenson indicated he thought an agreement could be reached to allow Dooling to play in Europe in the event the lockout was settled.

The Bucks made some moves to reshape their backcourt prior to the lockout, when they acquired point guard Beno Udrih from Sacramento and Shaun Livingston from Charlotte as part of a three-team draft day trade. Udrih is expected to be the primary backup for starter Brandon Jennings and also should spend some time at shooting guard. Livingston can play both guard positions but is primarily a point guard.

Dooling served as as backup at both the point guard and shooting guard positions for the Bucks last season. He played in 80 games, including 22 starts, and averaged 7.1 points and 3.0 assists.

Bucks coach Scott Skiles praised Dooling for his willingness to work on defense but the Bucks could not recapture the magic they had the previous season with Jennings and Luke Ridnour as the point guard tandem.

Dooling told me earlier this month that it was clear the Bucks didn't have him in their backcourt plans and he said he expected something would happen to change his situation.

The 31-year-old Dooling has played 11 NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, New Jersey and Milwaukee.

"He likes the team situation," Stevenson said of Efes. "He's a basketball aficionado and he pays attention to basketball all over the globe."

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