The Michael Finley Sweepstakes
Michael Finley, recently cut by the Dallas Mavericks, is out of work at the moment. But you won’t see him on your local street corner anytime soon. Here are some possible destinations for him:
Miami: Miami seems to be going after Finley pretty hard, but I can’t see how he fits in. They have a good starting five with Jason Williams, Dwayne Wade, James Posey, Udonis Haslem, and Shaq. They also have a sixth man in Antoine Walker. Finley would probably start in place of Posey if signed by Miami, pushing Posey to seventh man behind Walker. Unfortunately, this lineup, with the exception of Haslem, is complete of scorers who need the ball to work effectively. With this lineup will everyone get enough touches to get into a rhythm? This is exacerbated by the fact that Williams, who is not a distributor, is playing the point. Picking up Finley would also worsen their defense, as Posey is a reliable defender. This would not be a good pickup for the Heat, and their lineup would look more like a fantasy team than a real, functional NBA team.
Phoenix Suns: Finley would be a exceptional fit in Phoenix. He has already played in the uptempo Dallas offense, so he would fit right in, replacing Joe Johnson. This would allow Jim Jackson to stay as sixth man, where he is most valuable. His stats are very similar to Johnson’s, and he can also create his own shot, which nobody except for Johnson and Nash could do on the Suns before. Finley would be a great replace Johnson, and would fit right in with the team that originally drafted him. The Suns should go after him hard.
San Antonio Spurs: Finley would most likely be the sixth man on the Spurs. The Spurs lacked reliable bench scoring last year, so he would fit in with them well. San Antonio’s excellent team defense would most likely be able to disguise his defensive shortcomings. All in all, this would be a good move for the Spurs. It would also be a good move for Finley, as it is close to Dallas and he wouldn’t need to shift around too much.
Detroit Pistons: Finley would fill a similar role to the role he would fill in San Antonio here. He would most likely come off the bench behind Tayshaun Prince or Richard Hamilton and would be counted on to rule the second unit. As the Piston’s bench essentially consisted of Antonio McDyess last year, this would be a good move for the Pistons, as they would add a leader and a scorer.
Denver Nuggets: Here Finley would slide into the starting shooting guard identify, providing a consistent option. The Nuggets have a huge hole at SG, which they could fill with Voshon Lenard(injured last year), or Julius Hodge. However, Finley is better than either of these options, and at 41%, is a very good three point shooter, which would address one of the Nuggets biggest needs. Finley would also be a good fit here.
Essentially, because Finley is so good and willing to play for the midlevel exception or less, as Dallas is nevertheless paying him, he is a good fit for almost any team. This is what will most likely make the decision so hard for him. He wants to go to championship contender, but all of these teams are championship contenders, or would be with him. This can’t be an easy decision for him, but if he really wants to win a championship before his career is over, I see him going to the Spurs. That is where he will have the best shot at a trophy. The team that undoubtedly needs him the most is the Phoenix Suns, who would have no bench at all with Jim Jackson starting at the 2. The team that shouldn’t already be considering adding Michael Finley is the Miami Heat, who would have a poorly constructed fantasy lineup with him(it could be argued that they do without him). They would get by the regular season, but not the playoffs, with that many scorers. Ultimately, at all event team gets him will get an immediate raise at a good price.