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GOT FIN?
Posted by Jeff Dengate on August 29, 2005 1:30 p.m. ET

WHO HAS THE INSIDE TRACK?

First teams had to wait seven days for Michael Finley to clear waivers after getting his walking papers on Aug. 15 from the Dallas Mavericks. Then they had to wait for Fin to make up his mind where he'd suit up next. But did anybody believe the calendar would turn to September without the summer's biggest recruiting prize having made a decision?
-- [Dallas Morning News, Reg. req'd]

Well, two weeks have come and gone and all we've learned is thanks, but no thanks, Denver.
-- [Rocky Mountain News]

The Nuggets were considered a longshot anyway, as GM Kiki Vandeweghe acknowledged shortly after Finley was made available.
-- [Denver Post]

That leaves only Miami, Minnesota, Phoenix and San Antonio -- all invited to Chicago where the free agent was entertaining offers from his suitors -- in the running.

Early reports had Finley telling close friends he had his eye on Miami.
-- [Dallas Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Reg. req'd]

After pulling off a blockbuster deal that brought even more talent to last year's Eastern Conference finalist, would Finley's addition to South Beach give the Heat an automatic berth in the Finals? Well, not quite. There are, after all, 82 games between now and the playoffs. So, any thing can happen, but for now it's all quiet in Florida, where the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel haven't had a Finley update since early last week.
-- [Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Reg. req'd]

Of course, Finley may opt for a different destination. Reports suggest the Wolves, Spurs and Suns all have only part of their mid-level salary exemption remaining -- the Heat can offer the full $5 million.
-- [Arizona Republic]

(Detroit was considered an option, but the signing of Dale Davis likely dropped them from contention.)
-- [Detroit Free Press]

Money, however, is an unlikely factor in the process as the Mavericks are still cutting checks to Finley on the remaining balance of his contract. Their only savings came by way of luxury tax payments.

So, while Finley can make more money in Miami, that doesn't mean others have given up hope, as some are just resorting to begging for his services.
-- [Arizona Republic]

We won't go so far as to say the Big Ticket was pleading for Finley as a teammate, but Garnett did take some time to embrace the role of corporate pitch man.
-- [Minneapolis Star Tribune, Reg. req'd]

Finley's decision could come as early as today or tomorrow, so it's anybody's guess who may be holding a press conference in the coming days to announce their newest acquisition.
-- [Arizona Republic]

TIP IN

Hornets rookie gives Tar Heel fans a glimpse at what could've been.
-- [Charlotte Observer, Reg. req'd]

Could Finley suit up alongside his former Mavs' teammate, Steve Nash, in Phoenix?.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Former North Carolina forward Jackie Manuel on the Tar Heel's National Championship chances had J.R. Smith played in Chapel Hill rather than go pro:

"It would have been in the bag from the beginning. That kid can jump out of the gym."
-- [Charlotte Observer]

2004-05 ARCHIVE
Aug. 3 -- Making History
July 22 -- Market Value
July 15 -- Coaching Carousel
July 5 -- On The Move
June 28 -- Making the Grade
June 27 -- Confidence, Mate
June 7-23 -- The Finals Blog
June 3 -- Conf. Finals
May 27 -- Conf. Finals
May 20 -- Conf. Semifinals
May 13 -- Conf. Semifinals
May 5 -- Round 1
Apr. 29 -- Playoffs 2005 Begin
April 19 -- Giving It Away
April 12 -- Playoff Bound
April 5 -- Draw the Curtain
March 29 -- Battling for Position
March 22 -- Gone a Long Time?
March 15 -- Deja View
March 8 -- Top to Bottom
March 1 -- Dynamic Duos
Feb. 25 -- Much Adieu About
Feb. 16-20 -- All-Star Blog 2005
Feb. 15 -- Random House
Feb. 9 -- Reserves, Deserves
Feb. 1 -- All-Starters
Jan. 25 -- South by Southwest
Jan. 19 -- My Kind of Town
Jan. 11 -- 'S Wonderful
Jan. 4 -- Points Well Taken
Dec. 29 -- New Year's Wishes
Dec. 21 -- A Wonderful Life
Dec. 14 -- How Good is Good?
Dec. 7 -- Getting Medieval
Nov. 30 -- LeBron vs. Dwyane
Nov. 23 -- Playing Good Ball
Nov. 16 -- SuperbSonics
Nov. 9 -- Hitting the Blue Note
Nov. 3 -- Bling, Bang, Boom
2003-04 -- Archive