The Dallas Mavericks are busy trying to fill out the roster with youth and talent, but without the money that is generally needed. Will they be able to find serviceable options at a low price? A lot of that depends on how much we plan on paying Dirk Nowitzki.
During the offseason last year, the Dallas Mavericks were in hot pursuit of some of the biggest name free agents of the summer. Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside both became top priorities for the Mavericks and looked to be highly considering the Mavs offers. Unfortunately, they each decided to stick with their home teams and Dallas was in yet another scramble.
The front office made one of the best decisions in team history when they decided not to offer Chandler Parsons the max and let him walk to Memphis. Dallas was depleted with no real hope of getting a major player. They saw the name Harrison Barnes, knowing he was a restricted free agent and went all-in by offering him a max deal. Golden State could match, but would they?
Obviously once Kevin Durant agreed to head to the Warriors, the Mavs added Barnes to the squad and were blessed by a breakout year from the former Tar Heel. The Mavs also added Andrew Bogut and some smaller pieces while putting together yet another team on the fly. This time around though, the Mavericks still had some spare cash.
As opposed to saving that money over the season, they decided to give Dirk Nowitzki a monster contract of 2 year/$50 mil with a team option in the 2nd year. This would have put the Mavs in a tough spot this year so they agreed to decline the option in order to open up some cash for the team to use.
Now, the team has little money to spare and hasn’t committed any of it to Dirk yet, but still would love to find a player available in free agency. To make that happen, Dirk would likely have to take a significant pay cut and give the Mavericks flexibility. Question is, would Dirk take that small of a contract? And would Dallas even consider offering him a small amount?
It seems to me that Dirk’s contract talks will hinge on who the Mavs can coax into speaking with us this summer, but we also are going to be aware of what Dirk Nowitzki deserves in potentially his final season. The Mavericks will be aware of everything and won’t count anything out just yet.
Contract discussions can begin again starting tonight at midnight Eastern Time. The Mavs will be making some calls but not too many presumably. Either way, don’t expect Dirk to have a deal in the early days of free agency.