Team Option for Dirk Nowitzki Was to Silent Retirement Talk
Dirk Nowitzki signed a two year deal with Dallas over the summer, but why the team option for the second year?
Nowitzki hit free agency this summer after opting out of the last year of his previous three-year deal. Once again an unrestricted free agent, Nowitzki made it clear from the very beginning that he wanted to retire a Dallas Maverick…as long as they didn’t rebuild.
After the first few days of free agency, things were looking grim in Dallas until Kevin Durant made his surprising decision to join the Golden State Warriors. As a result of Durant, Dallas landed both Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes in moves that would keep the Mavericks in the competitive category.
Then it was Nowitzki’s turn to re-sign, and re-sign he did.
Dirk signed a two-year, $50 million deal with a team option on the second year. After the financial sacrifice Nowitzki has made over the past multiple seasons, the money wasn’t the surprising news to his contract. To some, the team option was confusing.
Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, went on the Brown and Scoop Podcast where he explained the reasoning behind the team option on Nowitzki’s deal.
“We wanted to make it a two-year deal with a team option so that people wouldn’t speculate that he was going to retire because Dirk is the type of guy, he’s just a good guy. He would hate going city to city to city and everyone asking him if he was going to retire because he has no intention of retiring after this year and, with the team option that we have, he gave us the flexibility that said ‘if we find somebody that we can send the money to that he likes, we all like, then let’s do it and if not, let’s give the money to Dirk again which I’m fine with too.”
More from The Smoking Cuban
- Mavericks: Teammates look to collect debts after Luka Doncic’s extension
- Dallas Mavericks: What Tyson Chandler would bring as a coach
- Dallas Mavericks land Boban Marjanovic on two-year $7 million deal
- Dallas Mavericks struggle, show flashes in summer league loss to Sixers
- Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic signs massive 5-year extension
Nowitzki has been pretty vocal about the desire to play 20 seasons in the NBA as long as he is healthy going into the 2017-18 season. The team option helps take away the retirement talk and attention that Nowitzki is desperately trying to avoid…unlike Kobe Bryant.
The last lines of Cuban’s statement is interesting because this means the team would still have the flexibility to go grab a max player next offseason if it’s something that Dirk and the Mavs desire. Dallas would simply decline the team option, sign the new player, and then re-sign Dirk to a new deal worth less than the $25 million he is slated.
But if that player doesn’t come along, like Cuban mentions, they simply pick up the team option and pay Nowitzki his $25 million in the last year of his career.
Either way, it’s good Cuban explained the thought process behind the team option.