Dirk Nowitzki has said he wants the Mavs to keep in mind that he’s still a productive player when they negotiate a new contract for him this summer, but he doesn’t foresee a stumbling block, as he tells Brian Gutierrez of ESPNDallas.com. The 2014 All-Star, who turns 36 on Thursday, hits unrestricted free agency July 1st.
“We all know that [owner Mark] Cuban took care of me for a long time. He was loyal to me,” Nowitzki said. “This deal is not going to be about squeezing out the last dollar. This is about being respected as a player that I still am, and that’s about it. There’s nothing more that we’re trying to squeeze out. We’ll just have to wait and see what the years and the final number are. I’m sure it’ll be very respectable for both sides.”
There’s more on the soon-to-be free agent who’s probably more likely to return to his current team than other player on the market amid the latest from the Texas Triangle:
- Signing a deal that reduces Nowitzki’s nearly $23.9MM cap hold before the end of the July Moratorium will be crucial for the Mavs, and Nowitzki looks ready to cooperate in that regard, too, as Gutierrez notes in the same piece. Nowitzki also dismisses the idea that he couldn’t play with Carmelo Anthony and urges Mavs to consider signing ‘Melo, who reportedly has Dallas on his list of preferred destinations.
- Anthony is also on the mind of Dwight Howard, who says he’d love to play with him or LeBron James but isn’t planning to recruit the stars to the Rockets, as he tells USA Today’s Sam Amick.
- Gregg Popovich, who retains Spurs front office power in tandem with GM R.C. Buford, doesn’t plan on following up the championship with a splashy summer of moves, as Raul Dominguez of The Associated Press chronicles. “I haven’t sat down with R.C. and talked about what we want to do, but one would think it’s logical to not make major changes with the group,” Popovich said. “Usually we don’t make major changes anyway, so, I wouldn’t anticipate any.”