Dirk just a year from free agency?

Updated: June 5, 2006, 12:11 PM ET
By Marc Stein
Stein Line news and notes from around the league, collected during the playoffs:

This was the plan even before Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks to their first NBA Finals berth, but Dallas is understandably even more eager now to sign Nowitzki to a contract extension this summer.

Nowitzki has two years -- and $31.5 million -- left on his current deal, but can opt out and become a free agent after next season.