The Mavs signed Nelson with the cap-room exception, giving him a salary of $2.73 million this season. Sources told ESPN's Marc Stein that Nelson signed a two-year deal with a player option to return to free agency next summer. His salary next season would be $2.86 million if Nelson opts to return to the Mavs.
"I feel like this team is really good," Nelson said Thursday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. "I've been watching the Mavs from afar for my entire career. I admire what they've done over my 10 years and even before that. The organization, from everyone I know, is top of the line."
Nelson, 32, a one-time All-Star, spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Orlando Magic before being waived on June 30. The Magic must pay Nelson $2 million this season, the guaranteed money from the final year in his deal with the Magic.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Nelson has career averages of 12.6 points and 5.4 assists per game. He averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 assists last season.
The Mavs plan to use Nelson as part of a three-man rotation at point guard along with Devin Harris and Raymond Felton, with those three players also seeing spot duty at shooting guard behind Monta Ellis.
Nelson is one of several significant additions the Mavs have made after winning 49 games in the regular season and pushing the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs to seven games in the first round of the playoffs.
Nelson joins small forward Chandler Parsons (signed to a three-year, $46 million deal as a restricted free agent) and center Tyson Chandler (acquired in a six-player trade with the New York Knicks) as new members of a Dallas starting lineup that will still feature star power forward Dirk Nowitzki and shooting guard Monta Ellis.