Finley decides to go with Spurs
Prized free agent Michael Finley has decided to sign with the San Antonio Spurs.
Phoenix Suns president Bryan Colangelo said he was informed of the decision by Finley's agent Henry Thomas on Wednesday.
``Of course we're disappointed, but to Michael's credit, he didn't just take the money,'' Colangelo said. ``He talked about a chance to win, and ultimately he decided to play for the NBA champions.''
The Spurs did not confirm Finley's decision. Spokesman Cliff Puchalski said the team had no comment. Thomas did not return a message left on his cell phone.
The 32-year-old shooting guard was courted by Miami, Phoenix, San Antonio and Minnesota. Each team sent representatives to Chicago to make a pitch to the veteran guard. Miami was considered the favorite, because the Heat could offer the full $5 million midlevel exception and the opportunity to play with Shaquille O'Neal.
San Antonio, which has won three of the last seven NBA titles, could offer about $2.5 million. The Suns had only the veteran's minimum of $1.1 million to offer, but hoped to lure Finley back to the franchise that drafted him. In Phoenix, Finley would have been reunited with good friend and former Dallas teammate Steve Nash.
The decision will leave a crowd at the shooting guard spot in San Antonio, where All-Star Manu Ginobili is the starter.
Finley, who averaged a career-low 15.7 points last season, was waived by Dallas under a one-time ``amnesty clause'' that allows teams to cut players to keep their salaries from being subject to the NBA's luxury tax. Finley still will receive most of the $52 million remaining on his Dallas contract, but the Mavs won't have to pay that same amount in luxury tax, as they would have had he been kept on the roster.