NBA rumors have been swirling around Dirk Nowitzki. The regular season is coming to a close, and the Dallas Mavericks are currently on the outside looking in at the NBA Playoffs. While the team can still make it into the top eight and join in on the post season festivities, their chances of winning the championship are slim. Thus, people are starting to wonder what Nowitzki will be doing next season. According to NBC Sports, Dirk is going to opt into his contract with the Mavericks for another season, which saves a ton of money for team owner Mark Cuban.
Considering that he is now 37 years old, many believed that Dirk Nowitzki was going to start his decline. After all, he’s played many a game in the NBA. That takes a toll on the body. Fortunately for the Dallas Mavericks, that decline hasn’t been as bad as expected. The 7’0″, 240-pound forward is still averaging a very respectable 18.8 points a game.
Next season, the salary cap in the NBA is expected to rise tremendously, which means that contracts will be even higher than normal. Considering how useful Dirk Nowitzki can still be, he could easily opt out of his deal with the Dallas Mavericks and earn considerably more money with another team. Nowitzki might even be able to find a team that is better equipped to challenge for an NBA Championship.
A team like the Golden State Warriors would love to have a sixth man like Dirk Nowitzki. With the amount of talent that the Warriors already have on their roster, Nowitzki can allow the rest of them to carry the burden of winning, while he becomes a contributor off the bench. The thought of having to guard a front court combination of Draymond Green and Nowitzki should send fear throughout the NBA.
Another potential option for Dirk Nowitzki would be to head south and join the San Antonio Spurs. The German native has long held a strong admiration for the franchise. Nowitzki also has the personality to fit in with Tim Duncan and his crew of unselfish team players. Playing behind Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge, would enable Nowitzki to be as strong and healthy as possible when the NBA Playoffs roll around. The Spurs would be even more of a threat with Dirk.
Unfortunately, neither of those scenarios is going to happen. Dirk Nowitzki is ridiculously loyal to the Dallas Mavericks. In turn, Mark Cuban is ridiculously loyal to his longtime franchise player. Much like Cuban has committed to doing everything he can to surround Nowitzki with a roster that can compete in the NBA, Nowitzki has vowed to never play for another franchise. The two of them are going to be together until the very end.
In order to make that happen, Dirk Nowitzki is going to sacrifice some money. The All Star forward is going to opt into his contract for next season. It will pay him $8.7 million, which is much less than what he could get elsewhere in the NBA. Nowitzki has never really been one to put money over basketball. Dirk has famously rejected quite a few endorsement deals because he wanted to focus on his career in the National Basketball Association.
It’s great to see such loyalty in professional sports. For years, John Stockton had handshake deals with the Utah Jazz. He didn’t need an agent. Stockton simply walked into the owner’s office and made an agreement. It’s easy to envision Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban doing the same thing. The Dallas Mavericks roster might be different next season, but the constant will be Nowitzki again.
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