Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Express News: Spurs remain on hold regarding Finley


Web Posted: 08/09/2008 12:00 CDT
Spurs remain on hold regarding Finley

Jeff McDonald - Express-News

Two months and one week after he became a free agent, Michael Finley remains a man without a team.

Whether Finley returns for a fourth season in a Spurs uniform appears to be entirely up to him.

The Spurs are believed to have tendered Finley an offer worth more than the veteran minimum of $1.3 million to keep him in San Antonio, where he was a part-time starter on a team that went to the Western Conference finals last season.

If Finley winds up playing anywhere else next season, there's a chance — however remote — it could be in a familiar haunt.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, citing Finley's agent as its source, has reported the Dallas Mavericks have contacted the 35-year-old guard about a possible return to the Metroplex.

Finley spent 81/2 seasons with the Mavericks before joining the Spurs as a free agent during the 2005 offseason. However, it seems a long shot Finley would relocate to Dallas.

Not only are the Mavericks overstocked on the wing, they are far over the NBA's salary cap, and are limited to offering the veteran minimum, the figure the Spurs are believed already to have exceeded.

Because of Finley's status as a Bird free agent, the Spurs can outbid any other team for his services.

Heading into his 14th NBA campaign, Finley remains very much a part of the Spurs' immediate plans — even as the team signed another free-agent swingman, Roger Mason Jr., earlier this summer.

Finley, who started 61 games last season, averaged 10.1 points and shot 41.4 percent from the field, including 37 percent from 3-point range — numbers that were actually a step up from his 2006-07 campaign. Though his value on the NBA's free-agent market has been mild this summer, Finley already has turned down an offer to play in Europe next season.

Finley's agent, Henry Thomas, did not return a phone call from the Express-News on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Spurs' pursuit of another free-agent guard drags on as well.

Jannero Pargo, the primary backup to All-Star point guard Chris Paul in New Orleans last season, is considering an offer from the Spurs believed to start at $2 million. That figure represents roughly the remainder of the Spurs' mid-level exception, most of which went to sign Mason.

It is said Pargo is seeking a deal that would push him past the $2 million threshold. Pargo's agent, Mark Bartelstein, declined to say what other teams are interested in the 28-year-old guard.

“We're just trying to work through the process and come to a decision,” Bartelstein said Friday.

The Spurs appear to be operating on a similarly vague timetable when it comes to signing their three newest draft picks. There are growing indications they might end up inking just one of them — first-rounder George Hill, a backup point guard.

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