Free agent superstar Dirk Nowitzki accepted an even larger paycut than what was initially reported, allowing the Dallas Mavericks to make a splash this summer. Dirk wouldn’t take meetings with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, choosing instead to return to the Mavs for three years and $25 million. Per ESPN:
Sources say that Nowitzki received strong interest in free agency from the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers to leave Dallas for max-level money but refused to engage in negotiations with either team.
Nowitzki consented to such a steep pay reduction — from last season’s $22.7 million to the roughly $8 million he’ll get for this coming season — to give the Mavericks added flexibility to strengthen the supporting cast around him.
Dallas used the resultant cap space, in conjunction with Chandler Parsons’ agent Dan Fegan, to create a lucrative three-year offer sheet to the restricted free agent that the Rockets ultimately decided they couldn’t match.