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Daniels commits to Celtics

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / July 18, 2009
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Free agent Marquis Daniels has committed to signing with the Celtics, according to a league source.

Daniels, a 28-year-old guard/forward, will receive the biannual exception contract worth $1.9 million, unless a sign-and-trade deal can be worked out.

Daniels, expected to be a backup for Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, averaged 13.6 points and 4.6 rebounds last season for Indiana. The Pacers declined their option on Daniels, which would have been worth $7.35 million next season.

Daniels, who started his career in Dallas, had also been talking with the Mavericks, Charlotte, Houston, New York, and Orlando.

Forward Brian Scalabrine has been mentioned as part of a possible sign-and-trade setup, which would allow the Celtics to pay Daniels more than the $1.9 million he would receive as an unrestricted free agent. Scalabrine, entering the final year of his contract, will earn $3.5 million next season.

Daniels, who is 6 feet 6 inches and 200 pounds, played in 54 games (43 starts) last season. He missed several games because of a groin injury, then was limited by a right wrist injury late in the season. Daniels averaged 31.5 minutes per game and set career highs in scoring and rebounding.

Daniels is best suited at shooting guard or small forward, but can also fill in at point guard as well.

Daniels, born in Jasper, Fla., grew up near Amway Arena in Orlando and hoped to play for the Magic. Daniels was undrafted after graduating from Auburn University with a sociology degree, joining Dallas as a free agent and playing for the Mavericks for three seasons, often as a backup to point guard Steve Nash. In 2006, Dallas traded Daniels to Indiana for Austin Croshere.

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at f_dellapa@globe.com.

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