09.01.05

Spurs Snare Finley

Posted in Basketball at 6:41 am by

The Miami Herald’s Oscar Goodman is reporting that San Antonio have signed free agent swingman, former Maverick Michael Finley.

The Heat lost the Michael Finley sweepstakes. The free agent swingman said Wednesday that he plans to sign with the San Antonio Spurs.

Four teams — the Spurs, Heat, Minnesota and Phoenix — pursued the versatile veteran. Each suitor enticed Finley differently. Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett visited with Finley in Chicago. Miami offered Finley the most money, and Phoenix offered Finley a chance to play with a close friend, Steve Nash. No one involved, however, could match San Antonio’s pitch: the chance to play for a championship team.

The Heat was prepared to offer Finley its $5 million mid-level exception. San Antonio had only $2.5 million to offer Finley.

Finley’s move to San Antonio likely increases the chance of point guard Damon Jones re-signing with the Heat. Jones, who has told associates he would like to return, has been waiting for Finley’s decision because he wanted more than the $3 million the Heat has offered. Now Miami is in position to offer Jones slightly more than that. Any offer beginning at more than $3 million would cut into the Heat’s $5 million exception.

Meanwhile, Finley joins a loaded San Antonio team primed for another run at the NBA Finals. The Spurs recently re-signed Robert Horry and Monday added Nick Van Exel. Van Exel played with Finley in Dallas

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