DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki insists he hasn’t put much thought into what the numbers will look like on his next contract.
He just knows he’ll get a deal done to stay in Dallas, the only NBA home he’ll ever know.
“I have no idea honestly what it will be right now,” Nowitzki said. “I haven’t really thought about it since we just lost Game 7. That’s the brutal thing about a Game 7. When you win, you move on to the next round. When you lose, the season’s over the next day. Haven’t really put much thought into it. But like I said, Donnie [Nelson] and Mark [Cuban] were talking to me planning this summer and we’ll figure something out.”
Nowitzki verbally committed last summer to re-sign a two- or three-year deal at a significantly reduced salary after his four-year, $80 million contract expires this summer. He has never publicly discussed specifics about how significant that pay cut could be, but there has been a precedent set by two of his future Hall of Fame power forward peers.
“Obviously, Dirk’s not going anywhere," Nelson said. "He’s built this franchise. He’s been with us from day one. Certainly, there’s negotiations to take place, but he loves this city and he wants to call it his home. We certainly reciprocate those feelings, so our hope is we’ll get something done that’s not only in Dirk’s best but also affects the flexibility of the future of the Mavericks.”
It’s a pretty safe guess that the big German, who has made more than $200 million during his career, will end up signing a deal somewhere near that Duncan-Garnett range.
“We want to get better as a team,” Nowitzki said. “I’m pretty sure I’m not going to sign Kobe’s deal. Unfortunately.”
Nowitzki laughed, knowing there’s no way he could sign a two-year, $48.5 million deal and expect the Mavs’ front office to upgrade the roster.
“We’ll find a good way where I feel respected for what I did and where we still have enough money left for us to get great players in here,” Nowitzki said. “Cubes has been great to me, has been loyal to me for a long, long time. I’m sure we’re going to find a great solution for everybody.”