Al Iannazzone reported yesterday that the Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets are close to finalizing a sign-and-trade deal which would send Keyon Dooling to New Jersey once he signs a three-year contract in the $10-11 million range. Orlando would receive the $3.3 million trade exception the Nets received from Dallas as part of the Jason Kidd trade. New Jersey has long had interest in Dooling, but thought it lost its chances when it signed free-agents Jarvis Hayes and Eduardo Najera earlier this week.
The exception, valid for one year after it's received, would enable the Magic to absorb $3.3 million in extra salary in a future trade. There's no guarantee they'll ever use it, though. Still, it looks as though the Magic might not lose Keyon Dooling outright after all. Not a bad deal, if it goes through.
UPDATE: Fred Kerber of the New York Post reports the teams have finished the deal and are merely waiting for the league to approve it (HT: NetsDaily). Meanwhile, Ira Winderman wonders why Miami passed on Dooling twice after he helped the Heat reach the 2005 Eastern Conference Finals.