Monday, June 27, 2005

Homeward bound?

As part of the new CBA to go in effect this summer, NBA teams have been granted one get-out-of-jail-free card. Specifically, they can waive any player on the roster and save luxury tax payments on that player. While this doesn't mean the money owed to the player is absolved, or that the team would even get cap relief, for a team like the Knicks who are well into the luxury tax threshold waiving Allan Houston could save nearly $40m.

You can expect that nobody around the league who is waived has a contract agreeable enough where a team under the cap would claim them. That player would then become a free agent, and attractive to any team looking for a veteran at a now-reasonable price.

An idea that was floated last week by commenter Realistic Guy, was that of Michael Finley coming to the Bulls, and satisfying every Bulls fan's lust for the M2GwcDaS. I responded that it was an unlikely that Finley would be waived, but I should've bit my tongue:

Barring the unexpected, Michael Finley's career with the Mavericks is effectively over. The financial implications of waiving the longest-tenured member of the team far outweigh keeping Finley, making his release "academic," according to a team source.

And leave it to My Man Sam(tm) to find a way to suggest Finley could wind up with the Bulls:

Finley could join a contending team like the Pistons, who already are said to have indicated interest in using Finley in a three-guard rotation to improve their long-distance shooting. Miami could be interested, as well, if the Heat elects to get out of the rest of [Eddie] Jones' $30 million contract. The Suns, who drafted Finley, are believed to be interested.

Or maybe Finley would just like to come home, where he should have gone when the Bulls passed on him in the 1995 draft and selected Jason Caffey.

Still far-fetched, but nice to think about. As long as both the Bulls don't expect a star, and Finley doesn't expect to be treated like one (i.e. the Jalen Rose experiment), Finley could fill a big need for a couple years. Unless Mark Cuban sees before the rest of us that Finley's skills aren't even mediocre anymore (i.e. the Scottie Pippen v2.0 experiment).