Nowitzki, On An Expiring Contract, Reacts To Kobe’s Extension


VIDEO: Dirk Nowitzki passes Kevin Garnett for 14th on the NBA scoring list.

DALLAS – With Kobe Bryant‘s extension finalized, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki is the next aging superstar headed for a pay cut in his next, and possibly final, deal.

Nowitzki, 35, is in the last year of his contract that pays him $22.7 million, second-highest in the league this season behind Bryant’s $30.5 million. Unlike Bryant, who agreed Monday to a two-year, $48.5 million extension, Nowitzki plans to let his contract expire before negotiating a new deal with Dallas owner Mark Cuban this summer. Also unlike the Los Angeles Lakers future Hall of Famer, Nowitzki appears accepting of a steeper pay cut than Bryant, one more in line with the three-year, $36-million deals Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan agreed to two summers ago.

“Obviously, it’s good for Kobe,” said Nowitzki, who passed Garnett Monday for 14th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. “That’s a lot of money for a 35-year-old, but if one guy earned it, it’s definitely Kobe.”

In the summer of 2010, Nowitzki left $16 million on the table when he signed a four-year, $80 million deal to stay in Dallas. That season he led the Mavs to the franchise’s lone championship and was named the Finals MVP after defeating the Miami Heat. Now, Nowitzki is just looking to get back into the playoffs with a roster that includes only Shawn Marion from the title team.

How the Mavs fare this season and then during next summer’s free agency period, where they’ve failed to land Deron Williams and then Dwight Howard the last two summers, could ultimately dictate Nowitzki’s price tag for the coming two to three seasons.

“I have no idea at this point,” Nowitzki said. “My contract is coming off, ‘Trix [Marion] is coming off, Vince [Carter] is coming off and so there’s a lot of money under the cap to make this team better. Like I said, this is Game 13 or 14 of the season, I’m more worried about [this] season than July.”

Bryant will earn $23.5 million in 2014-15 and $25 million (the collective bargaining agreement’s built-in, 7.5 percent pay raise). His salary next season will reflect about a 21 percent pay cut from this season, but the cost remains high enough that it will prevent the Lakers from having the available cap space to sign two max-level free agents. They will have room to sign one, but then little space to do much after that.

In 2012, both Garnett, then with the Boston Celtics, and Duncan with the Spurs, essentially accepted pay cuts of 50 percent from the previous season. Garnett went from a salary of $21.2 million in 2011-12 to $11.6 million in 2012-13. He will make $12.4 million this season and is due $12 million in the final year of his contract. Duncan went from $21.2 million in 2011-12 to $9.6 million last season, $10.4 million this season and $12.5 million in 2014-15.

Nowitzki, who will eclipse $200 million in career earnings this season, his 16th, has stated for some time now that he plans to work with Cuban on a deal that is fair but also helps the franchise maximize its cap space to attract and sign top-level free agents.

“I don’t really want to look forward too much,” Nowitzki said. “I’m not going to extend, obviously. I want to play the season out and then we can talk about the summer. I want to have a good season. I want to have an injury-free season and then [his coach/agent] Holger’s going to take his leather coat and meet with [Cuban] in the bunker suite and we’ll go from there.”

Holger is Holger Geschwindner, Nowitzki’s longtime personal coach from Germany and de facto agent. The reason for not following Garnett, Duncan and now Bryant with an extension, could be two-fold: Cuban prefers to allow contracts to expire, and Nowitzki can gauge how the roster shapes up during the summer before agreeing to years and a dollar figure.

“For me, I want to go back to the playoffs with this team,” Nowitzki said. “We have a real shot at it and that’s really what I’m focused on. I’m not really worried about extensions at this point.”

30 Comments

  1. Father says:

    People getting mad ‘cos Kobe got paid lol

  2. Rhedz says:

    Dirk would be better with mavs, If only cuban can get some nice players to compliment Dirk and Ellis..Maybe another wingman? Or a good center atleast like maybe the likes of verajao or atleast a splitter would do. On the other hand i dont see kobe teamiong up with melo nor Dirk on that matter. Melo and kobe would be a disaster on and off the court. Dirk and kobe would not work either aslong as the coach in LALA land is D’Antoni. Melo would be best if he stays in knicks, if they stop hiring old players and start hiring good young players that can compliment melo and chandler. Knicks should get stoudemire off the roster as he’s nt really helping alot.

    Btw, much respect to Dirk, he’s a good guy, a good player and hopefully he retires as a dallas mavericks. Cuban need to get his head staright. He needs to learn how to keep his players together. That championship team he had was good and if he wasn’t that idiot that we know off that core could’ve atleast contended for 2 more seasons and playoffs.

  3. THe OriCaL says:

    All Lakers have to do is sign one max deal. Lebron will be a free agent. Wade is in worse condition than Kobe. Pau >> Bosh. Bring LBJ to LA…and let the world witness what was only feasible in fantasy leagues.

  4. okc2014 says:

    The difference between Dirk and Kobe is that Kobe lives off of his ego, Dirk doesn’t. In the long run, Dallas will get more bang for their buck. Sounds like Dirk would like to retire w/ the Mavericks.

  5. Prosper Fish says:

    hope he will sign to balance the west power

  6. Barles Charkley says:

    obviously good for kobe, for the lakers (basketball), maybe (not?)
    dirk if you take more than 10M/year from dallas for your next contract, you don’t want another title and are satisfied with one.
    you can go to cuban’s office and tell : listen, i stay, i take 15 millions less, you take a nice ne talent to the team, we are champions again.
    well, dallas will make money on your back, for sure. but do you want this title number 2 or this million number 248

  7. sports fan says:

    If Carmelo goes to the Lakers then his ego would clash too much with Kobe’s. They’re both high percentage shooters & ultimately it wouldn’t work out. Dirk is more of a team player than Kobe so it might work out better for Carmelo if he went to Dallas. Also, Dirk is willing to take a bigger cut to allow more cap space.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Exactly what I was thinking…Melo and Kobe are both ballhog isolation high field goal attempt players, it wont work between those 2… If Melo goes go to Dallas and teams up with Dirk and Ellis then he would have a better chance at winning a championship then on the dysfunctional Lakers. Plus Mark Cuban is the type of owner who wants to WIN! he’ll do or spend whatever it takes to WIN!

  8. the mamba deserves every penny on this extension . even if dirk , KG , timmy or any other aging superstar were to demand such big money they aren’t worth it at this stage of their career . numbers don’t lie anytime you’re #4 on the all time nba scoring list you’ve earned the right , respect nd appreciation of an organization for them to reward you . a 6th ring would be great yes but just to have put yourself in a position to catch MJ on the all time scoring list or maybe even kareem one day is even more significant . even if he’d taken a major pay cut , the likelihood of landing another superstar in LA is rather dubious . Let the man get his cash he’s been loyal for 18 years

    • qq says:

      its not about what he deserves its what is best for the organisation, When you sign kobe to a deal like this at his age, Lakers wont be very attractive to other freeagents. And the Lakers doesnt even know that level kobe will be at when he returnes, for all they know all of his athlethic ability are vanished due to that injury. dumb and risky move by the lakers, no rings for them in 2 years thats for sure.

    • allaroundballer says:

      The only title left for him is 3rd/2nd all time score (or all time best volume shooter?) Kobe and lakers know melo/lebron will never join him, no matter how much money. Laker is just squeezing anything left from kobe. They’ll sign somebody anyway but kobe plus non-superstar will only fight for 7-8 seed playoff candinate. And that’s realy all, but better than nothing for the fans. Because letting kobe go won’t be better situation too

    • PetrGSW says:

      Man I like Kobe, and of course he’s one of the greats, but your coment exactly points out the problem. At this point he cares more about his career stats, than about Lakers winning, and that in my book will always be a minus for him compared to
      Timy, Dirk or even Lebron.

    • zamiLo says:

      change your name dude! you don’t appreciate the game, you are obsessed with one player’s stats! basketball is a team play not filling up my stat sheets and eclipse everybody else for the sake. anyway, dirk is thinking about rebuilding the dallas mavericks on the coming summer and he is making sure mark shall be doing his job, if not then he’ll have more options. Fair and simple.

  9. luckyfri says:

    for sure . kobe gets 24 mio and nowe 1 mio because they spend all their Money for kobe. the lakers shortend their chances in the free angency by giving kobe 24 mio. if they gave kobe 10 mio then they would have 14 mio for another maxi contract. if nowe stays a mav ist not just about the Money. nowe wants to guess out what he wants. if he wants to stay a mav he will get a good contract

  10. Lakers Fan says:

    This is what Kupchak and Jim Buss should have done. In my opinion it’s a bad management decision. Yes it might be a marketing strategy or rewarding your best and loyal player, but Kobe earned enough dough and all he can do at least is to give something back to the fans by taking a huge pay cut to accommodate 2 top free agents next year to be in contention again. They’ve already got good young players in Hill, Henry, Johnson, Meeks and Young why take this suicide (extension)?

    • asd says:

      Its easy to be Lojal when you got paid more than anyone else in the league for several years.

    • qqq says:

      they wont be able to resign meeks, hill, johnson and blake after this year if they sign a another max agent, and They will prolly resign pau aswell, if meeks, hill and blake keeps up their play they are gonna get paid next season.

  11. pacquiaoverated says:

    one thing for certain here Duncan, garnet, nowitzki are what you call TEAM players willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the franchise, now kobe is in another world he is cemented as the greatest ballhog ever,now with this it shows how great he is after the money and after more scoring stats. Kobe will never ever win another ring again put my words in rocvk. maybe wedding ring but championship ring? you wish Lakers as long as mrballhog is there it’s zero. wise for Howard to leave Lakers, wise for Carmelo or any superstar to stay away from the Lakers, Kobe still going to shoot it 75% of the total shots a team makes

  12. Miłosz Pijańki says:

    Dirk is a very smart person.He doesn`t look only after his own business.Thinking bout the franchise he spent such a marvelous career with is something really great.There is much to rebuild in Dallas.
    I don`t agree with a move that L.A. did with Kobe.I think it is a mistake.I wish to Mamba all the best ,but don`t think he`ll be able to compete for whole next seaon.I smell injuries in the air once again.
    Kobe and Melo You say?No chance.Would be a personal issues disater in a locker room

  13. William Reese says:

    Dirk Come To LA Team Up With Kobe And Melo And Make A Run For That Ring…

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Dirk has a better chance of getting another ring in if he stays in Dallas!

      • Lakers 16xchamp>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Miami 3xchamps LOL! says:

        LOL!!!! Stupid comment. He has a better chance elsewhere besides staying put in Dallas.

  14. Romeo Aguirre says:

    One of my favorite players happy he got a ring him and Kobe should team up with Melo and in LA for one last run

    • kek says:

      Haha I can almost imagine the horrible defense that would come with those 3 on the floor.

      • melo, nowitzki, kobe, gasol and nash? yeah…we’ll take that…dirk is one of the players I truly admire and respect…because he won his title on his own…his second best player was who? jason terry? who came off the bench…major respect to dirk…and him and gasol would be a good combo cuz both of them are great rebounders who can shoot from the outside…but yes…defense is a problem…they should fire D’Antoni and find a coach that has more defensive schemes

      • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

        @ Don’t ever CLICK MY NAME!!!! You Have been warned

        there you ago again, dreaming about your fantasy Laker team! Why would Dirk want to leave Dallas? he has been there his whole career and him and Mark Cuban have a good relationship, Dirk will retire in Dallas!
        And why do you keep bringing up Nash’s name? he’s a 40 year old has-been who cant stay healthy for 2 weeks without getting injured! As for Melo, he cannot help the Lakers win a championship, Melo is not a winner, I wouldn’t want Melo on my team!

        & You must be really $stupid to think Dirk won that championship on his own… Dallas had a stacked team that year!!!
        Dirk – Tyson Chandler – Jason Kidd – Caron Butler – Shawn Marion – Peja Stojakovic – Jose Barea – Corey Brewer – Jason Terry .. Sorry, but Dirk did not win that championship on his own!

    • UFO says:

      Can they stay health? If they do, they are not atheletic enough.