The Mavericks Are Declining Dirk's Option, Will Re-Sign Him

Ivan Schwartz
June 26, 2017

The Dallas Mavericks have officially declined forward Dirk Nowitzki's team option for next season and will begin negotiating a new deal.

The 39-year-old Nowitzki posted his worst season in the National Basketball Association last year with just 14.2 points per game on 43.7% shooting. Instead, the franchise hopes to work out a new deal with the German superstar, ESPN's Marc Stein reports.

Still, it doesn't appear Nowitzki has any interest in leaving the Mavs, and that's nice to see in an era when players rarely remain with one team for their entire career. A 20th season with the same franchise would tie Kobe Bryant's feat with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds as a junior.

At this point, the Dallas Mavericks seem to be operating with two things in mind: Trying to become a legitimate playoff team in the West again, and giving Dirk Nowitzki the kind of retirement years he deserves. For his career, Nowitzki shot 38 percent from three-point line.

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His scoring output and field-goal percentage were both his lowest marks since his rookie campaign in 1998-99, when he averaged 8.2 points per game off of 40.5 percent shooting. Burned from bad experiences in previous year, the Mavericks will probably stay away from big-name free agents, who don't tend to give Dallas a serious thought. Sports reported. ESPN had reported Saturday that the Mavericks don't plan to go after top-tier free agents after focusing on re-signing center Nerlens Noel.

"At the end of the day, I just can't imagine myself in a different uniform", Nowitzki said at the end of last season. "If we're rebuilding, then I'm the face of that".

The 19-year veteran has remained loyal to the Mavericks in spite of the fact that they haven't made it past the first round of the playoffs since they won the National Basketball Association championship over the Miami Heat in 2011.

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