Dirk Nowitzki on Free Agency: ‘I’m Not Going to Sign Kobe’s Deal’

by May 06, 2014
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Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has made it clear that he has no intention of going anywhere else once he becomes a free agent this summer. Knowing full well team owner Mark Cuban won’t give him the Kobe Bryant treatment, Dirk says he’s willing to accept a paycut if that helps improve the Mavs’ chances of winning. Per the Dallas Morning News:

Nowitzki was whipped by the end of the 4-3 loss to San Antonio in the first round. But on Monday, he was ready to look forward to the future – a future that will keep him in Dallas, even though he enters free agency on July 1.

[…] “So yeah, I still think I’m going to play a couple more years at a high level. And we’ll just have to wait and see, meet with Mark (Cuban) a bunch. I’m not going anywhere for a while. So we’ll figure some stuff out the next couple weeks. But like I said, the year before I was a little worried with the knee injury and not getting going for a long, long time. But this year, I feel a lot better about my body and my health, so I feel like I can still play at a high level for a couple more years.”

Nowitzki knows he will take a pay cut from the $22.7 million he made this season. It’s just a matter of how big of a cut. Something in the $10-million-per-year area might work. But the key is making sure Nowitzki is happy and there’s still enough money left to pursue in-demand free agents.

“We want to get better as a team,” Nowitzki said. “And I’m pretty sure I’m not going to sign Kobe’s deal – unfortunately (Bryant signed a two-year, $48-million extension). “We’ll find a good way where I feel respected for what I did and we still have enough money left for us to get great players in here. Cubes has been great to me and been loyal to me for a long, long time. I’m sure we’re going to find a great solution for everybody.”