Heat chases Finley
Several teams contact former Mavericks star
By Michael Cunningham
-- Sarah Talalay Staff Writer
Posted August 17 2005
The Heat fits one of free-agent forward Michael Finley's criteria -- a chance to win a title.
The other consideration -- money -- isn't such a sure thing because Detroit also reportedly has its sights on Finley.
Finley's agent, Henry Thomas, said Tuesday that Finley, waived by the Mavericks on Monday night, is weighing his options from among the eight or nine teams that contacted him.
The Heat and the Pistons both can start Finley at a salary of $5 million using their mid-level exception. Denver, which also reportedly is pursuing Finley, has the full exception but wouldn't offer a better chance to win a championship than the Pistons or Heat.
"He's in the process of narrowing it down and focusing on what teams he'd like to go to," Thomas said. "He's most interested in going to a situation where he has a chance to win a championship."
San Antonio and Phoenix also have been linked to Finley. The Spurs only have part of their mid-level exception remaining and Phoenix can offer only the veteran's minimum.
Under the rules of the amnesty provision of the collective bargaining agreement, Finley would continue to be paid his $15.9 million salary by the Mavericks this season while also drawing a salary from his new team.
"[Money] will be looked at along with other factors, and ultimately Michael will have to prioritize," Thomas said.
Heat President Pat Riley is seeking a swingman with starting ability after trading away forwards Eddie Jones, Rasual Butler and Qyntel Woods.