Dirk Nowitzki wasn’t expected to leave the Dallas Mavericks. It was just a matter of figuring out the years and money.
We have that, and we now may have an indication of where the Mavs go from here during free agency.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that the Mavs and Dirk have agreed to a three-year deal, projected to be around the $30 million ballpark as expected.
Before free agency began, the expectation was that a $10 million-per-year deal was on the horizon for Dirk, which is similar to the deal that Tim Duncan signed in 2012. Duncan also had a player option for the third year, and Stein reports that the third year of Dirk’s deal will have a player option.
Dirk was willing to wait on a new deal with the Mavs as Dallas was in hot pursuit of going after Carmelo Anthony. However, with Dirk taking about $10 million per year, that puts Dallas out of any conversation of giving Anthony a max deal.
So with Dirk locked in, it appears the Mavs are heading for Plan B immediately; that being either luring Chandler Parsons away from Houston with a lucrative offer sheet for the restricted free agent, or signing Luol Deng to his expected $10 million-$12 million contract.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Thursday that the Los Angeles Clippers are looking into bringing in Deng via a sign-and-trade, and Deng is intrigued by the concept. That’s a situation to look into over the next 24 hours.
If the Rockets don’t land Anthony, getting Parsons out of Houston may be a bit of a stretch, but it’s possible the Mavs could go all-in on getting the 25-year-old 3-point specialist and potential All-Star.
Another possible target could be Sacramento Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas. With the news of the Kings signing Darren Collison to a three-year deal Thursday, Dallas could make a run for the young point guard if the Kings can’t clear enough of cap space in time to match any offer for the restricted free agent.
But before turning their attention to any other point guard, the Mavs’ main priority at that position remains Devin Harris.
Nevertheless, Dirk’s deal pretty much means the Mavs are out of the Carmelo chase, but there are plenty of options to be had right at Dallas’ disposal with approximately $17 million left in cap space.
The face of the franchise stays where he belongs, and could very well finish his career in Dallas.