Dirk’s ‘three-25’ puts Mavs in business

By Jeff Caplan, NBA.com


VIDEO: Dirk Nowitzki talks on media day

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki is reaping the benefits of his unselfishness, at least on paper for the moment, anyway. When he sat down this summer to draw up a new contract with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the term “negotiation” hardly even seems applicable.

“Actually, for us, it was always three-25,” Nowitzki said Wednesday, referring to the exceedingly modest three-year, $25 million deal he signed in July.

Now 36 and entering his 17th season after making his 12th All-Star team, Nowitzki made it known last season that he would give his employer and friend of the last decade-and-a-half a serious discount on a new deal. Chuckling one day not long after Kobe Bryant signed a two-year, $48.5 million extension with the Lakers, Nowitzki said he wouldn’t be taking the Kobe deal.

Still, Nowitzki’s final figure fell below even what most league observers would have viewed as generous. It had mostly been assumed that Nowitzki would follow the Tim Duncan blueprint, a three-year, $30-million deal the Spurs great signed when he was 36. Nowitzki “negotiated” an even lower price.

“I think somebody reported it a little more, but that was never the deal,” Nowitzki said. “We agreed on three-25 from the beginning on. How’d we get that number? I’m not sure. It was just about leaving a lot of cap space and going for players. We already had Tyson [Chandler] at the time. Mark and [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson] obviously made it clear we’d love to get some more pieces, so that’s the number we settled on.

“I’m glad it worked out with Parsons because if a guy’s restricted, you’ve got to throw a lot of money at him, and it worked that way. I’m glad he’s here.”

Three-point shooting small forward Chandler Parsons is indeed wearing Mavericks blue because of the Nowitzki savings. Cuban floored rival Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey by offering the 25-year-old Parsons a three-year deal in excess of $45 million. When Morey passed on matching, Parsons, who never made $1 million in any of his first three seasons, instantly became Dallas’ second-highest-paid player, a hundred-thousand or so shy of re-acquired center Chandler.

Nowitzki actually ranks fourth on Dallas’ 2014-15 payroll, also behind Monta Ellis. Paying Parsons $14.7 million this season with raises of about $700,000 in each of the following two seasons might seem like a hefty price. But taken as a package with Nowitzki, it’s practically ideal. Nowitzki’s low cost also helps the club in the coming summers when Dallas again will be flush with cap space.

Getting Parsons was a game-changer for Dallas, which has been moving players in and out ever since Cuban decided to dismantle the 2011 championship team following the lockout and ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement. After a first-round sweep by the Thunder in 2012, missing the playoffs after a dozen years in 2013 and nabbing the eighth seed at the wire last season, the Mavs are younger, more athletic and seemingly more capable at both ends, and they’re back in the conversation at least as a Western Conference contender.

I always trust Mark and Donnie,” Nowitzki said. “Did I like us letting everybody go after the championship? Obviously not, we all know that. They were my boys and we just won it all, so we would have loved to get a chance to repeat.

“But I trusted Mark and Donnie with the business decision that they had to make after the lockout. And then I think it took us a while to get our feet back under us after that decision. We tried for some free agents, we didn’t get them, and last year we started slowly building something.

“I think we got a lot better again this summer. Tyson should help us a lot. I think Chandler (Parsons) is going to be a nice player on the wing for us. So I think we’re a good team, but you know how the West is. It’s going to be tough to break into the top three or four, they’re so good up there. But we’re going to try. Hopefully we’ll stay injury-free and see what happens.”

None of it happens, however, if Nowitzki had not “negotiated” that three-25.

51 Comments

  1. Tony says:

    Wish them best in the 2014-2015 season! And Spurs as well!

  2. birdhood says:

    I love lebron going back but why take a max deal when you keep saying you want to win championships….it seems like money > championships to. What does that say about Lebron? I know he’s gonna be making the city a fortune and all but it doesn’t make sense to me….but hey im just a regular joe

  3. lee says:

    I still don’t see their guard play being good enough I’d like to see them grab a Andre miller nelson is done and felt on never had it I like Ellis playing pg better then 2 guard and I think the could grab a guy like iman shumpert and be formable the well deff rely more on team play and will be able to shoot 3s their d will improve but I wouldn’t say their a top 4 team in the west

  4. Víctor Reyes says:

    I admire Dirk. With his skills and quality no all players do that.

  5. en. says:

    I’m tired of all this hype dallas won’t win it all so enough of da bulll

  6. jeypi says:

    People are comparing dirk’s and kobe’s deal… dirk cares about the team and not greedy and the other is a money maker. But they are both worth the money! If there is an overpaid player, i think that’s Melo!

  7. Martha Bishop says:

    So proud of Dirk. He is not money hungry and that means a lot.

  8. tj says:

    Dirk shows the epitome of loyalty and unselfishness in order to help our team. Most say they’d do whatever is necessary to help their team but only few have shown this in the past and Mark Cuban is a genious. His plan didn’t play the way he initially wanted but the result four years later is worth the wait. We’re in position to be highly successful for the next five years the least. Way to go Dallas Mavericks

  9. Kar says:

    He took a pay cut for what? They have to go against the Spurs, OKC, Portland, Golden St., Clips, and Houston. That’s just to get out of the west. And the best they can do is Parsons @15M. He should’ve taken the money.

    • alleighoops says:

      Glad you’re not on my team….that’s why you’ll always be a (insert derogatory comment here)

  10. Jeff Smith says:

    The Mavs have a very good starting 5 I’m just not too sure about their bench. This is a top 4 team in the West for sure what will determine success will be the bench

  11. rafa says:

    Mavs were the only team last play offs that gave scare to Spurs.
    So u never know and that would be great to watch.

  12. marlon green says:

    For starters it wouldn’t have made a difference if Kobe would have taken less money because the Lakers had enough to sign Melo and he didn’t sign. Along with any other key free agents. Second I think the Mavs will definitely be a playoff team and Parsons was a big improvement. That contract is huge but he has alot of upside to him and I think he will do very well and since he will be playing with Dirk there shouldn’t be too much pressure for him to come into his own. As far as contenders I’m not sure Because of those monster Thunder, Blazer and Spurs. Tyson is too injury prone and Felton is on the downside of his career. But They will be a better team than Houston for sure. Ariza’s best year were in L.A and they will miss Parsons.

  13. Angel Saint-Hilaire says:

    What is this about the Mavs bench being weak? Felton, Richard Jefferson, and Aminu were all starters for their respective teams last year. Then you have last year’s guys like Harris, Wright, and Crowder who are decent young guys. Jameer, Chandler and Parsons were also starters. So Mavs will be deep no matter what. Their bench always ranks with the top teams in the league every year, because of Carlisle’s coaching style.

  14. Jorge says:

    This is why watching the Mavs will be possibly entertaining to watch this season while the Lakers will be a bust, like last year. I am not saying Kobe does not deserve or is not worth his deal, he is worth what his team is willing to pay him, but the added cost of not having any flexibility with salary will make his last couple of years with the Lakers an exercise in collecting a hefty pay-check and nothing else.

  15. The Angry Buddhist says:

    Tyson Chandler was pathetic last season for the Knicks, always a step slow on Defense and his offensive game is, well, offensive

  16. truenorth says:

    i’m not convinced dirk can pull off a duncan in his twilight years. kinda sounds like they are putting a spin on the fact he’s not worth as much anyways. Kobe shouldn’t be making as much either but he fills the seats. In L.A they go to a Kobe show not a basketball game. If they want to watch basketball they go see the clippers.

    • Frank says:

      Dirk was elite in every offensive category last season. The Rockets and Lakers both offered him a max contract. He is still the best PF in the game. I don’t know that watching Kobe in a suit sitting on the sideline is worth the cost of admission.

  17. hbcunetwork says:

    Dirk should have taken the money! The Mavs still won’t win a ring and the billionaire Cuban showed how loyal he was to his players after the 2011 championship. Jason Terry should still be wearing a Mavs uniform. I could see the Lakers being just as good as the Mavs and Kobe has his well deserved $48 million.

  18. hbcunetwork says:

    Dirk should have taken the money! The Mavs still won’t win a ring and the billionaire Cuban showed how loyal he was to his players after the 2011 championship. Jason Terry should still be wearing a Mavs uniform. I could see the Lakers being just as good as the Mavs and Kobe has his $48 million.

  19. Justin says:

    Dallas have one of the tallest front court. Dirk 7 ft. Chandler 7 ft. 1. Parsons 6ft. 9.

  20. Lovins says:

    Still LOL’ing at Parsons getting $15M/year.

  21. patrickmarc says:

    They will be great if Elis, Felton and Brandan, get on fire,
    sure they can do it, and reach play-off.

  22. John says:

    Hey Kobe,

    Are you reading this? DIdn’t have enough money already? You could’ve given such a great example as one of the biggest role models in sports. Instead you gave the most worthless example ever. GREED GREED GREED.

    It’s just sad man, just sad.
    John

  23. KennyJoe says:

    I heard Cuban is gonna build a statue of Dirk in front of the AAC-Arena. I say build two, he deserves it.

  24. Kirby Record says:

    Poor Dirk and poor Tim! Only 8 million plus a year. How will they feed the family on that?

  25. blaze says:

    felton and jefferson are washed up

  26. Zacula says:

    I like this Mavs team! .. and Dirk… that’s what you call leading by example!

  27. Caine says:

    Lets be honest Rocket fans, who would you rather have Parsons or Ariza. Stop being in denial and just accept that Dallas took your guy. Lets go Big D!

  28. Hunter says:

    This team can do it. 2015 FINALS GO MAVS!

  29. Mark Owens says:

    Anybody who thinks my mavs have a weak bench just remember you guys were saying the same thing when we lost Jason Terry and he was the greatest 6th man in mavs history we will be lethalanda top 4 team in the west

  30. Travis Bickle says:

    I understand he could of got lots more, but $24 mil for a guy who has already earnt over $100 mil.

    • another cavs fan says:

      still a sizable difference between 25 mil and 30 mil. 5 million dollars is a lot of money…

      I think parsons was overpaid. Im not sure the mavs still have what it takes to beat the thunder or the spurs, or even the blazers.

  31. OldKGfan says:

    Wow… it’s almost unheard of for a talent such as Dirk taking only 8 mil a year. (even though he’s older) …VERY UNSELFISH. Dallas has a pretty good team because of that, no doubt. They were the 8th seed last season and have made some BIG improvements to their roster. But, was Dirk’s sacrifice worth it? It’s risky. This team could be a 4th or 5th seed this year and one of the better teams in the WEST for the next 3 seasons. Mavs fans will love that. But if they can’t acquire a couple more valuable pieces, it’s a bust.

  32. harriethehawk says:

    I’m on the fence with the Mav’s but they will definitely make playoffs,.

  33. Huh..? says:

    Been a Mavs fan ever since I was a kid, born and raised. I HATED Cuban for letting go of Chandler, him, along with Noah, are probably the best 2 Centers in the league when it comes to defense, intensity and on/off-court influence and energy. The starting 5 for Dallas is pretty legit now, however I’d love it if Felton returned to his previous form when he was a decent duo with Amare in NY. The bench still, is suspect and something we can improve on thanks to Dirk’s generosity towards the franchise. If Kobe hadn’t had all that talent with him (Shaq, Bynum before injuries, and Gasol), I wonder where all that selfishness would’ve taken him, $48mil for 2 years… SMH.. worse is that he has endorsements and other ventures bringing in cash, not like he’s a sub-par player who will only get paid once.

  34. bboy says:

    I dont think we lost much by loosing Parsons and acquiring Ariza. Parsons was a subpar defender and Ariza is a much better defender. Also, Ariza plays similar offense. Im really glad the Rockets didnt pay him 45 mill. who does he think he is Kevin Durant?

    • abc says:

      He could turn out to be as talented as Durant. He’s only been playing in the league 3 years. Dirk wasn’t even close to coming into form at that point.

  35. Alex says:

    While Dirk will be chasing rings in the twilight of his career like Duncan, Kobe will be watching from his couch. Kobe could have taken a similar deal and the Lakers could have thrown money at free agents to get them competitive again. But he chose money over wins and theres nothing wrong with that, take the money while you can I guess. It just shows the types of players and people that Dirk and Duncan are as opposed to Kobe. Team vs Self

    • joe says:

      I agree I was disappointed in Kobe like wat a way to go out he don’t want anymore rings he is content smfh

      • MrNBA says:

        Even if Kobe took a pay cut nobody would want to play with someone who constantly berates his teammates, which Kobe does.

    • Rufus says:

      Give me a break…Kobe should have gotten more…all that he’s given the Lakers…Dirk has only one ring and Kobe have 5 count them 5….so who does rings mean more to…Stop hating on Kobe…If your job offered you a raise what would you do…say no…give me a break…this is America…

  36. Garen says:

    Houston got rekt. Riperoni

  37. timpson says:

    That was good deal no need in being greedy

  38. True Baller says:

    With Parsons and Chandler back, the Mavs are definitely back in the fold. Houston will regret letting him go.

    • teg says:

      eh, I’m not sold on Mavs. I’ve been saying this, I think they took a major step down when it comes to looking at that bench of theirs.

      • pete_41 says:

        were about to know that….

      • Sam Reyes says:

        Al farruq aminu, richard jeferson, raymon felton, devin harris, brandan wright bernard james.

        I dont see what bench problem are u talking about,

        anyway the mavs look good on paper, in the floor TChandler was a great catalist in the championship year, not mentioning he and dirk have great chemistry, not mentioning more defense,