Dirk Nowitzki has informed the Dallas Mavericks that he is opting out of the final year of his contract and becoming a free agent on July 1.
But that, in no way, means the 18-year veteran is leaving the Mavericks and joining another team.
Nowitzki has spent his entire career with the Mavericks and has said he’ll never play for another franchise as long as the Mavericks are not in a rebuilding mode. Owner Mark Cuban has always said he’ll never be in a rebuilding mode as long as Nowitzki is a part of his team.
Nowitzki, who turned 38 on Sunday, would have been in the final year of a three-year, $25 million contract he signed in the summer of 2014. But since the NBA salary cap is skyrocketing from $70 million in 2015-16 to $94 million next season, it made good business sense for a player of Nowitzki’s caliber to opt out of his contract and obtain a well-deserved raise.
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Nowitzki averaged 18.3 points per game this past season and was the oldest player in the NBA to lead his team in scoring.
Mavericks guard Devin Harris isn’t concerned about Nowitzki playing elsewhere. Harris said: “I don’t think the Big German is going anywhere.”
About talk of Golden State aggressively pursuing Nowitzki and if the Mavericks’ legend would sign a free-agent contract with the Warriors, Harris said: “I don’t really see that happening.”
Multiple sources also said forward Chandler Parsons has decided to opt-out of the last year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. Parsons signed a three-year, $46 million restricted free agent contract with the Mavs in 2014.
Point guard Deron Williams can also opt-out of the final season of his contract. Williams has until 11 p.m. Wednesday to make that decision, or by NBA rules, he will automatically become an unrestricted free agent.