Dirk Nowitzki’s new contract will give the Dallas forward a chance spend 20 seasons with the only franchise he has ever played for.
The Mavericks and Nowitzki have reached agreement on a two-year, $40-million contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because contracts can’t be signed until 9 p.m. PDT Wednesday. Nowitzki will have a player option in the second year.
The person also said the Mavericks have agreed to a two-year, $6-million contract with free agent guard Seth Curry, the younger brother of two-time MVP Stephen Curry.
At $20 million per season, Nowitzki’s deal is a significant raise for the 38-year-old, who opted out of the final year of a three-year, $25-million deal that was a huge discount for the Mavericks. It helped them get Chandler Parsons in free agency two years ago, although he is leaving for a max deal in Memphis.
In spring, Nowitzki said after another first-round playoff exit that he felt as if he had at least two more good seasons in him after leading the Mavericks in scoring for the 15th time in 16 seasons. The 2007 NBA MVP essentially told a media outlet in his native Germany on Tuesday that he would retire with the Mavericks.
“I’ve always said that I’ll end my career in Dallas,” Nowitzki told the German news agency DPA in comments translated by the AP. “I’ve been here 18 seasons. It would be great if I can make it 20.”
Nowitzki’s future with the Mavericks was actually a legitimate question Friday, the opening day of free agency when Dallas struck out on its top targets for the fifth straight year. Nowitzki had said the only way he wouldn’t return is if the Mavericks tried to surround him with unproven players.
But the Mavericks added three veteran starters in two days, including two-fifths of the lineup for the 73-win Golden State Warriors, who blew a 3-1 lead and lost the NBA Finals to Cleveland. Dallas is set to add small forward Harrison Barnes on a max deal at four years and $94 million. Barnes was a restricted free agent, but the Warriors will renounce the rights to him to make room under the salary cap for Kevin Durant.
Golden State also had to find a new home for Andrew Bogut after securing a commitment from Durant, and agreed to trade the 31-year-old center to the Mavericks.
Williams started Dallas’ run of failures in free agency in 2012 when he decided to make the move with the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn. But he quickly joined the Mavericks on a $5-million deal when the Nets bought him out in summer 2015.
Nowitzki, the NBA Finals MVP when the Mavericks won the franchise’s only championship in 2011, figures to become the sixth player in NBA history and seventh player overall to reach 30,000 career points next season. The 7-footer with the smooth jumper has 29,491 in 18 seasons, sixth on the NBA list and eighth with ABA players included.
The 25-year-old Curry will be on his fifth team in four seasons. After playing sparingly for Memphis, Cleveland and Phoenix his first three years, Curry averaged 6.8 points and 1.5 assists in 44 games for Sacramento last season.
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