The Dallas Mavericks will decline Dirk Nowitzki's $5 million option for next season, but intend to re-sign the longtime face of the franchise, according to multiple reports.
It's more of a paperwork move that was a mutual decision to clear cap space in the Mavs' pursuit of free agent center DeAndre Jordan. The Mavs and Nowitzki are expected to reach an agreement in July.
Nowitzki, 40, has not said whether next season will be his last. He's on a year-to-year basis, but is not interested in a farewell tour.
But the 2018-19 season will mark Nowitzki's 21st with the Mavericks. That will set an NBA record for longest tenured player with a single team.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
Kobe Bryant played 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nowitzki will also become just the fifth player in NBA history to play 21 seasons, along with Kevin Garnett, Robert Parish, Kevin Willis and Moses Malone (including his two ABA seasons). If he plays next season, Nowitzki's 1998 draft mate Vince Carter will also join the 21-season club.
No player in NBA history has played more than 21 seasons.
Nowitzki is coming off a season in which he averaged 12 points in 77 games. He ranks sixth in NBA history with 31,187 points, along with 13 All-Star appearances, an MVP and an NBA Finals MVP.