The performance, it is said, went well. But whether the show sold Michael Finley remains to be seen. The Suns made their presentation Tuesday afternoon in Chicago, trying to convince the former Suns and Dallas Mavericks off-guard to rejoin his original team.
Meanwhile, the Suns appear to be close to acquiring James Jones, a restricted free agent who played last season for Indiana, in a sign-and-trade deal, a league source said. Bringing the off-guard Jones on board wouldn’t preclude the Suns from signing Finley, the source said.
In the Jones deal, the Suns would use about $2 million of the $6 million exception to the salary cap they gained in the Joe Johnson trade.
As for Finley, convincing the free agent to sign on for roughly $1 million would help salve the wounds of a rough offseason in which the Suns unexpectedly lost the rising Johnson to free agency.
Finley said he will make up his mind by next week, said Suns owner Robert Sarver, who was part of the entourage. Finley has reportedly narrowed his choices to Miami, Phoenix and NBA champion San Antonio.
The Suns presented Finley with one of his old jerseys — the Suns drafted him in June 1995 then traded him to Dallas in December 1996 as part of the deal that landed Jason Kidd — and printed up a new one with his name on it.
They also gave him about 5,000 e-mails from fans encouraging him to return to Arizona.
Suns officials believe they’ve got a shot at Finley, despite reports he is leaning toward joining the Heat. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have sent a delegation that also included Amaré Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and new guard Raja Bell, plus club president Bryan Colangelo and coach Mike D’Antoni.
"Amaré was great," Sarver said of the rising superstar’s pitch to Finley.
The Suns’ general message: "He would be an important piece on a team that could win a championship," Sarver said. "It would be a perfect fit."
Overall, "It went really well," Sarver said.