Would Mavs and Finley agree to reunite?

March, 1, 2010
3/01/10
1:13
PM CT
With the San Antonio Spurs set to release Michael Finley, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, would Finley and the Dallas Mavericks agree to reunite?

As long as the Spurs waive the 36-year-old before midnight Monday, Finley will be eligible to play in the playoffs for another team.

Finley wasn't happy how he left the Mavs when owner Mark Cuban released him after the 2004-05 season to save $51.8 million in luxury-tax. It worked out OK for Finley, who helped the Spurs to the 2006-07 NBA title in a sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

During that series, Cuban told me that he would welcome Finley back to Dallas: "I would hope that after his contract is over in San Antone, he would consider the Mavs as an option. I don't know that he would, but our entire organization has that much respect for him."

The league actually investigated those comments for tampering, but decided not to fine Cuban. Would the two sides come together? Of course, at that time, Finley had just one year left on his contract. In August 2008, he turned down overtures from several contenders and re-upped with the Spurs for two more years.

And things have changed drastically. Finley was still a productive player last season, having averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 28.8 minutes a game. He shot 41.1 percent from 3-point land and always seemed good for knocking down a couple of timely 3s from the corner. The Mavs can attest to that.

But, this season's Finley has a very Jerry Stackhouse feel from last season.

Finley is averaging just 3.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 25 games. He suffered a Grade 2 sprained ankle on Dec. 5 and didn't return until Jan. 31. It's been an awful return. In eight games played, Finley has gone scoreless in seven. He is 2-of-18 from the field and overall he's shooting just 31.7 percent from downtown.

Now, Finley could be a positive addition for the Mavs. Dirk Nowitzki loves his former teammate and certainly would welcome him back. And there's no better locker room guy than the always humble 15-year veteran. The Mavs are deep at shooting guard, but that didn't stop them from recently signing vagabond Von Wafer to a 10-day contract. Would Finley be more valuable than Wafer?

The Mavs still have one roster spot open and it could be two if they don't extend Wafer.

Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has a saying that you can never have too many shooters. Although Finley's been shooting blanks most of this season, who's to say in a limited role on a deep squad that he can't get in a few productive minutes and fire in a corner 3 now and again?

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9