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Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 at 6:50 am  |  35 responses

Sources: Nowitzki To Test Free Agent Waters

by Tzvi Twersky

Mark Cuban doesn’t need to be worrying about how to best woo LeBron James to Dallas this summer. No. What he needs to be doing is ensuring that his current star player, Dirk Nowitzki, doesn’t skip out of town.

As ESPN.com reports:

The Dallas Mavericks are expecting star forward Dirk Nowitzki to opt out of his contract late next month and become an unrestricted free agent July 1, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.

The Mavericks, though, continue to negotiate with Nowitzki on an extension in hopes of convincing him to preempt his free agency. They remain confident the leading scorer in franchise history will stay with the only NBA team with which he’s played, even if Nowitzki winds up joining the most anticipated free-agent class in league history.

The sides have until the end of June to reach a deal to keep Nowitzki off the open market, but sources told espn.com this week it’s more likely–with free agency less than 40 days away–the nine-time All-Star becomes an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

“That wouldn’t change our approach one bit,” Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told ESPN.com when asked about the prospect of Nowitzki exercising his opt-out clause.

“We’re going to do everything we possibly can to make sure Dirk is a Maverick for a long, long time,” Nelson added, describing team management as “hopeful, optimistic and expectant” about reaching terms with Nowitzki on a new deal.

Although the opt-out scenario would expose the Mavericks to the possibility of another team swooping in to sign him away, as seen in the summer of 2004 when the Phoenix Sunsstunningly pilfered Steve Nash, numerous executives around the league remain doubtful that they can pry Nowitzki from the grasp of Mark Cuban, given the close bond they’ve forged through Cuban’s 10½-year reign.

“It’s impossible for us to imagine Dirk in any other uniform,” said Nelson, who was instrumental in the pre-Cuban maneuverings on draft day in 1998 that landed Nowitzki and Nash in Dallas in separate trades.

Talk of Dirk opting out first surfaced after the Mavs fell in the first round to the San Antonio Spurs. Add his name to a free agency list that already includes LeBron James, Joe Johnson, Dwyane Wade, Amar’e Stoudemire and Chris Bosh.

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  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Normally i’d be sad to see this but after witnessing JET, old Ason, Matrix and Rick Carlisle mess up badly against a hobbling Spurs team that fot swept by the SUNS, who themselves are getting murdered by the Fakers, i hope he gets to go to a city with a good nucleus that can compete for the ring! Time to do you, Dirk. (of course if this is all CBA-manoeuvering then…meh)

  • underdog

    I’m curious who’s gonna take the first step this summer. I thing everybody will wait for LBJ to take it.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    dirk on the warriors would be beautiful.

  • daynja!

    q woods 4 ROY, nice prediction……

  • Lazarus

    ^yaz rofl.

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    Dirk to the…..Suns? I honestly can’t see him in any other colours, than the Dalmav green and blue…

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    “Rookie of the Year 2003 – Qyntel Woods” – HAHA. Man, I remember this issue.
    Dirk, go sign-n-trade with Miami for Beasley, J.O and Q Rich. If Miami sign & trade with Dirk, they can still hold onto Wade, and depending on how much Dirk gets, go $5million over their cap to get another star calibre guy in Johnson. Doubt they’re getting James though.

  • http://www.another48minutes.com Gerard Himself

    I hope Dirk stays with the Mavs. Can’t really say why, but it’s like Duncan who always should stay a Spur. Maybe I’m an old fool, but for some reason I like it when a player stays with one team his entire career. That being said: if Dwyane Wade would leave my Miami for my beloved Nets, I won’t say anything! (I know, won’t happen…)

  • Dardo

    Dirk should go to the Nets or Brooklyn Brooklynites whatever they will be called once they move to Brooklyn! Although I really think they should be called New York something, how about the “New York Globetrotters” LOL

  • AL29

    Don’t give him too long of a deal- afterall, he’s 32 years old. If he’s asking for longer than a 3-year contract, let him walk.

  • barnabusb

    I hope Dirk moves. Screw the Mavs. They’ve failed again and again, and it’s not Dirk’s fault. He’s wasting his best years in Dallas, and needs to hook up with a legit star to be a real contender.

  • matt

    He’ll go to the Suns and Cuban will have a heart attack.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    This summer’s gonna be crazy

  • http://www,myczechrepublic.com SAB

    i wonder if he’s come to the conclusion that, to be on a championship team, he has to be the second-best guy. the set-up at Dallas is not going to be successful. and success is his big motivation, not money.

  • Dontbelievethehype

    OH NO!!!
    Another player for the Knicks.
    So now it is Rubio+Bosh+Wade+Lebron+Nowitski

  • http://banksitin.blogspot.com/ vmcb

    Amar’e splits, Dirk goes to Phoenix. Wahoooo.

  • Jose

    He wuld go sign and trade for bosh.i mean bosh didnt pick dallas as a destination but its his home..i cant see dirk in Miami. that be nice but idk it seems improbable even if we give em B-easy. Him in phx wuld be sick tho. Him and nash and if they manage to keep stat as well.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    I think Dirk is gonna end up wherever Nash goes. Or at least i hope that is what happens. I really want to see those two reunited.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Dirk to New York?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Nash + Amare > Nash + Dirk
    Just saying…

  • Shem

    Dirk isn’t looking for cash guys, stop saying Dirk to NY or NJ. It’s not happening. He clearly wants a title! The only teams I can see him going to is Miami and for some reason I don’t know why Orlando. History has proven championship teams are built on a defensive big man and a fundamental big man. (Robinson and Duncan, KG and Perk, Gasol and Bynum, Shaq and Haslem, Sheed and Wallace, etc). Dwight and Dirk would make an awesome combo. I think the reason I see him going to Orlando is because they have blue jerseys haha

  • barnabusb

    Does Orlando have enough money? Didn’t they spend it all?

  • Roc

    Dirk should come to Portland in a sign-and-trade for LaMarcas Aldridge. Then you’d have Dre, Roy, Batum, Dirk, and Camby or Oden. That would be a dangerous team.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Nice observation Shem… So you mean Dirk is going to New York?

  • http://slamonline.com Dave

    Yeah, because Dirk and LaMarcus is a fair swap in terms of salary and talent. Good idea.
    Why not Dirk to ‘Sota a sign and trade for Nathan Jawai.

  • Shem

    @ Teddy the Bear: hahahah no I can’t see him going to NY if he does, then he clearly doesn’t want a title as much as I thought

    Portland is looking towards the future.. can’t see them trading lamarcus for dirk. Yeah orlando did spend all their money on overpaying lewis and gortat but if Dirk was in fact leaving im sure they d take a sign and trade instead of letting him walk. If anyone remembers, the magic overpayed gortat due to Mark Cuban giving him such a high restricted free agent offer so Lewis and Gortat in a sign in trade would benefit orlando, dirk and the mavs.

  • Observe

    Well.. The manegment did promise playoffs soon..now I see why.

  • Christi r

    Dirk isn’t going anywhere!! He’ll resign with a new contract and in the process give Cuban a little pocketbook room to go get Dirk some help.

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    dave, let me guess, youre team sucks so you cant see talent even if its that obvious. Aldridge dominates Duncan on in allmost all their matchups and helds his own vs Dirk,KG,Amare,Gasol,Bosh in last 2 years…it goes Gasol, KG, Dirk, Amare, Timmy, Bosh and LaMarcus is right next with David West for Power fowards but hes 5/10 years younger than all of them! so, stfu next time, k?

  • http://www.euroleague.net/competition/all-decade/main-page/i/64902/4259/euroleague-all-decade-selection-theodoros-papaloukas?lang=en&itemid=64902&mid=4259&tabid=1143&itemname=EUROLEAGU PAPALOUKAS (click on my name)

    Dirk at OLYMPIAKOS !!!!

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com Hoopistani

    Dirk = a slightly worse LeBron.
    Both are franchise players who have been to the finals and not won anything, both have had the best regular season record in the league followed by awful playoffs, both have been MVP, neither of them are really team leaders.

  • Justin

    ^^^lol@ Lebron not being a team leader. Yeah, Lebron’s 25 years old and hasn’t won yet. What a bum

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  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    I really would be shocked if he left Dallas and Lebron stayed in Cleveland.

  • hey

    lmao all the idiots on here saying dallas isnt a contender…who got the title that year? haha love people who think they are so smart and couldn’t be more wrong

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