Saturday, July 26, 2008

SportingNews: Spurs' Finley spurns European offer

What, did you think foreign interest was limited to young, emerging NBA players shackled by restricted free agency?

Hold on a minute. There's some room for the elders in the Euro leagues. In fact, according to agent Henry Thomas, 35-year-old free agent (note: not restricted) guard Michael Finley of the San Antonio Spurs was not only contacted by a European team a month ago, but Finley turned down the offer.

"It's not something Michael wants to do at this point in his career," Thomas told Sporting News. "They were very interested in him, and they were impressed with his shooting ability and his experience. But he was not interested in going abroad."

Thomas would not name the team or league that was interested in Finley, but did say, "Well, it's one that has been in the news a lot lately."

That would be the Greek league, which saw one of its premier teams, Olympiacos, sign Atlanta Hawks swingman Josh Childress to a contract this week.

With Finley apparently out of the market for European offers, Thomas said Finley had no shortage of NBA offers. His first choice would be to return to the Spurs. Contrary to reports based on San Antonio's signing of guard Roger Mason Jr., Thomas said the Spurs are very interested in keeping Finley.

Speculation around the league, though, has Finley looking at league powers like the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics.

"There are other teams, championship-caliber teams that want Michael," Thomas said. "But he is not going to be in a hurry. If you know Michael, you know he is going to think about this very carefully and make the right decision for him and his family. He won a ring with San Antonio and he will never forget that. So, that will weigh into his decision."

Staff writer Sean Deveney covers baseball for Sporting News. E-mail him at

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