As odd as it sounds, if Dirk Nowitzki gets involved in any of the Dallas Mavericks’ off-season recruiting efforts, he might be asked to help recruit the player who will replace him in the starting lineup.
The Mavericks have made no bones about their strong desire to acquire Portland Trail Blazers soon-to-be free agent power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. If successful, Nowitzki has made it known that he wouldn’t mind coming off the bench and handing the starting power forward keys over to Aldridge.
"We want to get better, there’s no question,’’ Nowitzki said Tuesday morning at the Mavs Basketball Academy Hoop Camp at Episcopal School of Dallas. "We’ve been ousted twice basically in the first round (of the playoffs) the last two years and whatever I’ve got to do I’m ready to help.
"I know that at 37 I can’t be the No. 1 option if we want to play for the championship. That’s just normal, that’s how the cycle goes.’’
In short, Nowitzki knows the NBA cycle is moving toward a younger player such as Aldridge, who turns 30 on July 19. Nowitzki turns 37 Friday.
Meanwhile, the 6-foot-11 Aldridge, who grew up in the Dallas suburb of Seagoville, has hinted in the past that he wouldn’t mind returning home to play for the Mavericks.
"We’d love to have him,’’ Nowitzki said. "He’s a great mid-range shooter, he plays bigger than he is on the defensive end.
"He’s a good rebounder on both ends of the floor, and on that left (side of the floor on offense) he’s a beast. He’s a really, really good player.’’
Nowitzki doesn’t know Aldridge on a personal level. The duo has been Western Conference All-Star teammates in 2012, 14 and earlier this season.
"I got to know him some at the All-Star games,’’ Nowitzki said. "That’s really the only time that we spent some time together.’’
Nowitzki hopes he and Aldridge will get to spent a lot more time together. As Mavericks teammates.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760