Dirk Loves Big D, Awaits ‘Big Summer’

DALLAS – Dirk Nowitzki got to talking about playing into his late 30s the other day. No one should doubt his ability to do so, or his desire to do it all with the Dallas Mavericks and the high probability that he will.

He’s on record saying as much practically more times than he’s taken the floor over 15 seasons, and with tonight’s game against Milwaukee that makes 1,082 times.

Nowitzki acknowledged that the slow trudge back from October arthroscopic knee surgery put some doubt in his mind as to his longevity. But he’s feeling and playing more like his old self now as 30 points and 13 rebounds showed Sunday against the Lakers. After that game he said he plans to play two or three more seasons once his current deal expires after next season. The ripe, old age of 40 even came up. 

“But I always say it’s got to be fun,” Nowitzki said. “If it gets to the point that the fun is gone and I’ve got to go to work, I’d rather just retire. I’ve got this year and next year under contract, so I’ll be 36 and for sure play a couple of more years.”

It is assumed that when Nowitzki, 34, signs his next deal he’ll do so seated next to smiling owner Mark Cuban, who once said he’d sign the German when he’s 73 if he can still shoot. Yet when Nowitzki discusses his future these days, he’s quick to reiterate his staying power in Dallas, but he also continually delves into the current uncertain state of the franchise, a little caveat that leaves the window cracked ever so slightly for a potential change of scenery in his final seasons.

“Once you’ve won it all and had that feeling, that excitement in the city and the franchise, you don’t want to play basically for the eighth seed two straight years,” Nowitzki said. “So it’s been tough. We made some business decisions obviously we all know about, so we’ll see what we get out of this. We have cap space for the first time in a long time. We’ll see if we can make something happen this summer.”

Actually, as Nowitzki knows, the franchise had cap space last summer, too, but swung and missed on Deron Williams. The whiff ushered in a second season of constructing a short-term roster of mostly expiring contracts, a scenario Nowitzki doesn’t view as a winning formula.

So then came this answer, the caveat, when asked if he expects to continue to make Dirk-like, or superstar, coin on his next deal. Nowitzki is owed $20.9 million this season and $22.7 million next season.

“Well, I think it’s a little too early to look, honestly,” Nowitzki said. “Basically the last couple of times, there was not much negotiating going on. It was, ‘Give me money and I’ll stay,’ right? I gave him [Cuban] a little discount last time. The CBA’s changed. We’ll talk about that when it gets to that point. I still have this year and then the full next year. We’ll see what happens and where this franchise is. Like I said, it could all depend; this is a big summer. This is a big summer.”

Since raising the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the Mavs are 61-60, plus a first-round sweep out of the playoffs for the first time in Nowitzki’s career. Now the franchise’s record 12 consecutive playoff appearances is in jeopardy. The pressure is on Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson to come through this summer with a significant free agent to ease Nowitzki’s burden in his twilight years, or to formulate a trade that lands impact players.

Do so and no doubt Nowitzki, who will have earned more than $200 million by the end of his current contract, will cut a cap-friendly deal. But if he’s still the lone star in the summer of 2014, his asking price might just go up, potentially making things a bit uncomfortable for Cuban. Or, if Dallas remains a revolving roster, perhaps a more enticing situation elsewhere presents itself as the CBA promises more salary-shedding and roster shakeups across the league.

“We’ll make it work,” Nowitzki said. “Cube’s obviously said his bank’s open, so we’ll see what happens this summer. It’s going to be a big summer for us. We want to get back to winning ways. We always competed and were part of the playoffs, so we’ll see what happens this summer. It’s going to be a big summer for this franchise.”

37 Comments

  1. kugatsujan says:

    some are saying dirk should leave the mavs and move to wolves but they didn’t know that mavs can’t trade dirk because that is part of his contract. dirk accepted cuban’s offers in that condition. miami heat took an offer to dirk last 2011 or 2010 i think, but dirk turned down the offer. that’s the reason why miami heat signed bosh instead of dirk but miami heat really want dirk to be part of their team,cuban and dirk knew it so he made that no trade condition because he don’t want to play in different team aside from dallas mavs, but who knows after his contract expires if he still want to play in mavs

  2. HKahlon says:

    i dont know why Kyrie Irving is being mentioned in possible trades. It is only his second year as a Cav and he has made no indication of leaving. He has a great coach in Byron Scott and their team has potential in Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller, and Dion Waiters. The most likely will be in the lottery again this year so add in another prospect, plus they can amnesty Anderson Varejao and open up some cap to make a run at a free agent, Josh Smith for example, and all of a sudden, the Cavs can compete for a playoff spot in the East. As for Kevin Love, I would not say he is unhappy in Minnesota. This year has been injury riddled and when youre best players are not playing, you are not going to be able to compete against the Miamis and OKCs of the world. Dwight Howard is another story, he wants to clown around and not play serious, he might as well sign with the Harlem Globetrotters and do whatever the hell he wants to do. Dwight Howard is always contradicting himself and has commitment issues, I would not risk getting him in free agency if I were the Mavs. They could make a run at Tyreke Evans, but their best bet is to just hope that their draft pick pans out.

  3. lbj says:

    Dirk should take his talents to south beach

  4. EricWoNg says:

    Lol the title of this article is messed up

  5. Karem says:

    Dirk love big D

  6. apollomarco says:

    I think Big D means Big Dirk…

  7. apollomarco says:

    Mavs must not stop working for Dwight and Love, there is a little possibility they will land those guys in their situation right now in their team. Dirk will not leave Dallas, he will wear the same jersey till he retire. But I think Big D means Big Dirk.

  8. ShawnKemp says:

    Cuban really blew it when he let chandler and barea leave. What’s was the point? To build a better championship team? Too ambitious.

  9. Jayjoe14 says:

    he should take his talents to south beach

  10. krazik says:

    rubio needs to learn how to shoot then he will be 1 of the best point guards in the nba

  11. krazik says:

    dallas have a decent competitive team if dirk was healthy all year! but they are aging with marion brand and carter, they need to get rid of atleast 2 of them, maybe keep carter. dirks definetly not going to the t wolves. getting love would be good and play him at centre with maybe kamen off the bench. getting josh smith at sf might work but i would make that a last option as j smith is better in a faster team. jamison, nash and cp3 are definetly not going to dallas. rashad lewis might be a good fit but his consistancy and big game performances is very questionable. Dallas have got another playoff run in them and to be competitive but i dont think they will get a championship in the next 3 or 4 years but definetly look on rebuilding the franchise.

  12. insane2112 says:

    dirk to timberwolwe think Love+Dirk+Rubio oh lawd that would be awesome :3

  13. Nash fan says:

    How about a Nash – Nowitzki reunion? I’d really like them to finish together…. ohhhh the good NASH-NOWITZKI-FINLEY days…

  14. B-Ball4Life says:

    Go Dirk, you are one of the greatest players. Hang in there. Next season Cuban gonna bring some nice Players to Dallas.
    Forget about the Playoffs this year. No way Dallas is not gonna make it. Anyway good luck for the future Mavs. Great City and great Franchise

  15. It definitely will be a “big summer” for them. After what Cuban did to them after the championship was just wrong. Some thought that they were back especially with O.J. Mayo playing at a career -high level in the beginning of the season. Awaiting Dirk’s return people thought that the O.J/ Dirk was going to be a problem. It seems like teams have found a solution quick. Cuban has a chance to get off Twitter and giving his opinion about teams that are suppose to be great but are going through unusual slumps (Lakers) and get some of these solid players in Dallas in this off season. Josh Smith is supposedly bound to leave the Hawks this summer so that would definitely be a good pick-up for them. Get rid of Elton Brand and maybe Chris Kaman for that move. Of course people like CP3, JR Smith, Al Jefferson, and Paul Milsap (just to name a few) are free agents as well but those guys aren’t going anywhere. I still say that Andray Blatche could be a candidate if they don’t get Smith. He has proven that he could play in Brooklyn after his horrid seasons in Washington (I always thought of the Wizards as the Raiders of the NBA but I digress). Lastly, to add some guys that can still shoot, add Rashard Lewis and Antawn Jamison. Lewis gets no playing time in Miami for obvious reasons. I mean cmon now you got a NBA champ coming off the bench in Ray Allen. With the Lakers wishy washy season (even though they have been playing well lately) Jamison has to look for that ring and it’s not happening in L.A. Cuban better take full advantage of this, “big summer”.

    • RJ says:

      Really, I could see Jefferson and/or Millsap leaving Utah. With the big, talented young guys behind them, and the fact that Jefferson and Millsap are pretty much at their ceilings. Though personally, id keep that burly four man frontcourt rotation and find another way to land myself a star point guard and a dynamic wing if I were them. They can really bully people around inside. But the Mavs could easily end up landing one of those two.

  16. Unkle Daddy says:

    People will make really dumb remarks after I post this, but most people don’t have a clue so there you go. Dirk it’s time to pack your bags for a new area code. The Mavs aren’t going anywhere fast. I say go join the Timberwolves, Love + Dirk, baby…

    • RJ says:

      Yeah, where are the Mavs gonna find anything? They better do damn good in the draft this year with that 13th pick or whatever…

  17. theholyspectator says:

    its about titles, no one remembers or praises about good playoff runs or makin the playoffs 10+ times in a row…unless the particular team being talked about has a standard of playoffs only…but hey hopefully cuban does bring someone in that can help..paul isnt gonna leave la clips for dallas…he fits way better in LA

  18. Dommy says:

    hey guys did you know that dirk loves big D
    hehehehehe my immature moment of the day :)

  19. sirsparhawk says:

    They should try and get Kevin Love, He wants to leave the timberwolves, and they obviously dont want him. Get Love, kick marion and carter for a good point guard, maybe rondo or paul or hell even kyrie, and then go for a good defensive player, Id say sefelosha. Champ lineup right there.

    • RJ says:

      Rondo, Paul, and Kyrie aren’t going there. None of them. Not happening. Not going anywhere, especially Kyrie. He’s got too much upside, and for now (and two more years) the Cavs are getting him at rookie contract salary. Why would you think Love doesn’t like being with the timberwolves? He’s always seemed content there. And why do they “obviously” not want him? He’s got a broken hand right now.

  20. sirsparhawk says:

    Terrible name for a tittle, rofl cracked me up.

  21. ForReal says:

    “Dirk loves Big D”???
    ARE YOU KIDDIN ME (Stephen A Smith) lololololol

  22. MrNBA says:

    The MAVS should try to lure Paul this summer. Though it’s likely he’ll, say in LA, they should still try their hardest. If it doesn’t work, the backcourt belongs to Mayo and Collison. They need to shore up their front court with defensive players like Al Jefferson and Jason Maxiell (both free agents). Forget Dwight. No more hoping for a primadonna or any ex-Laker please please please! No more chasing after players who have big egos considering their best player, Dirk, doesn’t have an ego at all. The rest of the line-up should consist of wingman defenders or 3 point shooters.
    This is how the Spurs stay competitive. It’s a proven formula. Should this happen, the MAVS will be back in contention.

  23. TTKIN says:

    I still dont understand how this is a big summer. No matter how much Dwight hates LA right now (if it’s even true), he wont turn down 30 extra mill. Who are the other free agents? Bynum? Ok good luck with that.

    Josh Smith will be turning down 30 mill to come to dallas (not likely). Harden already extended. Paul aint leaving the Clips.

    Millsap and Jefferson are the most likely ones, but Jeff will stay in Utah. and millsap plays the same position as dirk. And if theyre counting on Tyreke Evans…well that’s just funny haha.

  24. theholyspectator says:

    mavs have flopped…one hit wonders…

    • sirsparhawk says:

      One hit wonder is still better than no hit wonder. This isnt the same mavs that won btw. Thats like the 04 kings who woulda won a title then split up, not the same team that won, not even close.

    • artifex says:

      One hit if you count the number of championships, yes – so far.
      But as said, they had a decade of success and 50+ seasons, so I wouldn’t call that “one hit wonders”
      They surely flopped in their roster decisions in the past 2 years (though I like Mayo and hope he’ll stay) and that landed them where they are now. Well, it got discussed enough so I don’t even dare to start that yet again, everyone knows…
      Still, not unrealistic that they get on winning street again, though most likely not before July…

      • Bstarr says:

        It is a one hit wonder no doubt about that. But indeed it is better then winning nothing. Looking at their age and roster the results will not get better and changes are needed. No playoffs this year in Dallas guys.

        Nowitzki. Carter and Marion are oldies and Brand can’t deliver so there is no big 4 on the court but only 4 names of good players that once were on their best. We all know that.

        So Cuban must trade 3 oldies for a future franchise player and a high draft pick. Kevin Love, Kyri Irving and even Dwight Howard are good options at the moment for Dallas.

        The only question here is: if you decide to release the fans favourite player……what do you give them back?

        I guess Dirk doesn’t mind that much where he plays, he will get his money any way.

    • Mino says:

      yeah, championship wise, but they were a MAJOR name in the western conference for about 10 years. That’s elite if you ask me.