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Mavs’ Finley to Become Free Agent

June 19, 2001

DALLAS (AP) _ Dallas Mavericks All-Star forward Michael Finley has decided to exercise the option in his contract to become a free agent on July 1.

``We fully expected Michael to exercise the option to terminate his contract,″ Mavericks head coach and general manager Don Nelson said in a statement Tuesday. ``This is an ordinary procedure, as many players opt out of their contract.″

Finley hasn’t shown any interest in leaving Dallas and has indicated he would return next season.

Finley, who appeared in his second straight All-Star game, helped the Mavericks to their best season since 1988.

The Mavericks won 53 regular-season games and upset the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. Dallas lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the playoffs.

Finley, in his sixth season, averaging 21.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He also averaged a league-high 42 minutes per game, leading the NBA for the second time in three seasons.

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