30 Greatest Dallas Mavericks players in franchise history
By Tyler Watts
10. Michael Finley
Finley spearheaded the Mavs turnaround in the late 1990s. They had missed the playoffs six straight years and were the laughing stock of the NBA before the 6’7 wing arrived in Dallas in a 1996 trade that ended the “Three Js” era. Jason Kidd went to Phoenix with Finley, Sam Cassell, AC Green, and one second-round pick coming to the Mavericks.
Finley quickly became the team’s leading scorer, and he helped Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash get Dallas back to the playoffs in 2001. The 6’7 wing scored over 20 points per game for five straight years, and he made two All-Star appearances. The Mavs reached the conference finals in 2003 with Finley as the team’s second-leading scorer behind Dirk Nowitzki.
Michael Finley left the Dallas Mavericks in free agency in 2005 to join the rival San Antonio Spurs. He played five more years in the NBA before coming back to Dallas to work in the front office. He is currently the team’s vice president of basketball operations.
In his eight-and-a-half years playing for the Mavs, he averaged 19.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.2 steals in 39.7 minutes per game. Finley is sixth in games played, fifth in scoring, fifth in rebounds, fourth in steals, and fourth in 3-pointers made in franchise history, which makes him unquestionably an all-time great Maverick.