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

by May 06, 2014

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.”