Dirk Nowitzki had himself a great series versus the Thunder. Averaging 20.5 ppg and going 56% from the floor, he was one of the few bright spots in a quick five game exit for the Dallas Mavericks. At age 37, he defies the odds of an aging basketball player as it seems that his game has only gotten better with age. Dirk was leading by example for a young and injury decimated Mavericks team that is trying to break the through the early playoff exit hump in the next few seasons.
After the series ended last night, Nowitzki informed the team that he will be coming back to play out the final year of his contract. Nowitzki has an $8.7 million player option for next season, the last year of his recent three-year deal.
“I signed on for three years a couple years ago. My intention was always to finish this contract. I always said I wanted to retire [with] the Mavs, especially after we won the championship a few years ago. There’s no reason to go anywhere unless the Mavs are rebuilding. I always said that the last couple of years, I’d never want to be a part of rebuilding. Next season, I’ll be 38. As long as we go for it and every summer we add guys and keep competing, then I’ll be a Mav for the rest of my career.”
The Mavericks are in a tough position. They have to start thinking about a rebuild for the years after Dirk is gone. They will be aggressive in free agency this summer with Mark Cuban at the helm. One name to keep in mind is Dwight Howard. The team has had interest in him for this upcoming offseason, but not at the asking price he has put out there.
Expect the Mavericks to go the same route they went this year by bringing in less expensive, savvy veterans. They want to send Dirk out on the right note and have him play some meaningful playoff basketball next season.