Nowitzki plans to play at least two more years, expects quick deal

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 10, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Don’t look for Dirk Nowitzki to be on the free agent market long.

Sitting impatiently by the telephone while waiting for the other shoe to fall is not the Dallas Mavericks forward’s way of doing business.

Nowitzki’s contract with the Mavericks expires July 1, at which time he becomes a free agent. While Nowitzki has yet to start negotiations with owner Mark Cuban on a new pact, if history is the barometer, the 16-year veteran doesn’t anticipate being on the open market very long.

“I usually get it over with quick,” Nowitzki said Tuesday at the Mavericks’ Summer Hoop Camp at T. Boone Pickens YMCA. “I’m sure there will be some conversations with Mark.

“Four years ago [when Nowitzki was a free agent] I met with Mark, I think on July 2, and the deal was done.”

Back in the summer of 2010, Nowitzki left about $16.2 million on the table when he signed a four-year, $80 million free agent contract with the Mavericks. Nowitzki didn’t say what type of contract he’s seeking this summer.

However, it could be similar to the three-year, $30.37 million contract Tim Duncan signed with the San Antonio Spurs in 2012.

Duncan was the third-highest player in the NBA during the 2011-12 season, when he collected $21.16 million. But his latest contract paid him $9.65 million during the 2012-13 campaign and $10.36 million this season with a player option for $10.36 million next season.

Nowitzki was the NBA’s second-highest paid player this season, when he earned $22.72 million. Although Nowitzki will have to take a sizable pay cut to help the Mavericks be a major player on the free agent market, both sides have basically agreed that he’s not going anywhere.

“We love him, he loves us, this is his home,” said Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks’ president of basketball operations. “Usually, those situations get hammered out.

“But it’s a process and its negotiations, and so your hope and expectation is that it works out.”

Traded for on the night of the 1998 NBA Draft, Nowitzki has spent his entire career with the Mavericks. And he’s consistently said that he plans to play at least two more seasons with the Mavericks — if not more — before retiring.

“We all know that I kind of grew up here with the Mavericks,” Nowitzki said. “I’ve been a part of this organization for almost two decades now. It’s been a crazy fun ride.

“Cuban’s been like a friend/owner/mentor to me for years. Any problems I’ve ever had, even off the floor, he’s helped me out, so saying all that, I think we’re going to get a deal done pretty quick.”

Besides Nowitzki, the Mavericks’ other free agents are Shawn Marion, Vince Carter, Devin Harris, DeJuan Blair and Bernard James. In addition to re-signing those players, the Mavericks also would like to land an impact free agent.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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