The Dallas Mavericks are in advanced discussions with star forward Dirk Nowitzki on a new contract but are likely to hold off on finalizing deal terms until after the team's face-to-face meeting this week with Carmelo Anthony, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the parties have mutually agreed to put off the finishing touches on their weeks-long negotiations until after the chance to make their recruiting pitch directly to Anthony, who ranks as Dallas' No. 1 free-agent target besides Nowitzki.
The Mavericks and Nowitzki have been negotiating for some time, sources said, because the parties strongly contemplated hammering out a contract extension before June 30 -- such as the Memphis Grizzlies did with Zach Randolph -- to prevent the former NBA Finals MVP from even reaching the open market.
But the Mavs and Nowitzki, sources said, ultimately decided to wait until after July 1 to maintain maximum flexibility for free-agent pursuits.