VIDEO: Nowitzki stays in Dallas
HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — The most predictable deal of the offseason has come through: Dirk Nowitzki will re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks on a three-year deal in the $30-million range.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein was first to report the new pact, which guarantees Nowitzki a 17th and 18th season, and gives him a player option on the third year.
Whether the timing suggests the Mavericks are out of luck in recruiting Carmelo Anthony to Dallas is unclear, although the expectation around the league is that Anthony will return to the New York Knicks on a max deal.
If Anthony doesn’t work out, Dallas has had strong interest in spending its sizable cap space on small forward Luol Deng, and also has interest in Rockets small forward and restricted free agent Chandler Parsons. Houston has maintained it will match any offer sheet made to Parsons, although that could change if they wind up landing Anthony.
Anthony met with both the Rockets and Mavericks on Wednesday.
Nowitzki, 36, made $22.7 million last season and averaged a team-high 21.7 points and 6.2 rebounds. With Nowitzki fully recovered from knee surgery that forced him out of the early portion of the 2012-13 season, Dallas, with Monta Ellis in the fold, produced one of the most efficient offenses in the league.
Defense was the Mavs’ Achilles heal, and they took steps to address that shortcoming by re-acquiring championship center Tyson Chandler in a deal with the Knicks. The Mavs’ front office also believes Chandler could help them land Anthony.
Nowitzki vowed to take a significant pay cut and came through as expected, accepting a deal that virtually appears to mirror the three-year, $30 million deal Spurs forward Tim Duncan accepted two summers ago.
According to Stein, Nowitzki will keep his no-trade clause. The player option after two seasons when he’ll turn 38 is interesting, allowing Nowitzki a final chance to explore the league’s power structure if the Mavs have not made it back to contender status in the Western Conference.