Dallas Mavericks free agency grade: Dirk Nowitzki returns
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks brought back the future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki on a one-year deal on July 23, and we evaluate that transaction.
The Dallas Mavericks made their least surprising move of the offseason on Monday. The team finally signed a deal with the icon and future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki. The signing was a formality, but it is officially on the books.
Dirk turned 40 last month and this season will mark 21 consecutive in a Mavericks uniform. It has been a historic run for a player who will go as one of the all-time greats.
Dirk signing grade: A
Forgetting his 12 All-Star appearances or his legendary status with the team, Dirk is still an extremely productive player at this stage of his career. He averaged 12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.8 3-pointers made, 0.6 blocks, and 0.7 turnovers per game in 24.7 minutes a night over 77 games last season.
The advanced metrics still love Nowitzki too. He had a positive 0.3 box score plus/minus and a 1.1 value over replacement player (VORP). Looking at win shares, Dirk earned 2.6 offensive and 2.2 defensive which translated in a win shares per 48 minutes of 0.121 (0.100 is league average).
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Add in the facts that Dirk has only ever played for the Mavericks and he was willing to play for just five million dollars this season, and this move becomes a steal.
The coming year could be Nowitzki’s final season, and that is a sad thought for Mavs fan worldwide. Let us enjoy the run while it lasts, though.
The Dallas Mavericks hit a home run in re-signing the legend, Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk will likely be limited to a 25 minute per game role again this season, but expect him to be productive while on the court. He will play some power forward and backup center this season as well.
Hopefully, Dallas can compete and earn a playoff berth if this is, in fact, Nowitzki’s last season. No better way to send a future Hall of Famer off into the sunset then his team full of promising talents making the playoffs. The Mavs face a tall task in a difficult Western Conference, but expect the team to be in the hunt.
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