Thursday, June 24, 2010
Updated: June 25, 11:22 AM ET
Kidd on Dirk: 'He's not going anywhere'
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd said Thursday that he's not worried about Dirk Nowitzki packing his bags and taking his career elsewhere.
Nowitzki is expected to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. The former MVP has until Wednesday to void the final year of his contract. If he does, he'll hit the open market July 1 and can entertain overtures from other teams.
"Sometimes as a player you want to feel wanted," Kidd said. "He's always felt wanted here, but maybe this could be some weird way of being appreciated by other teams. There's nothing wrong with that because he's probably one of the top five free agents or top four, top three. He's good.
"He'll get a lot of attention, but we all feel he's not going anywhere."
Mavs vice president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said the team continues to work toward an extension. By opting out, Nowitzki can sign a new contract with the Mavs for four years as opposed to a maximum three years if he agrees to an extension.
Dallas would love to get Nowitzki signed to an extension so they have their main free-agent recruiter locked up come July 1, rather than him possibly being wined and dined by other franchises.
Kidd was at the American Airlines Center prior to Thursday's draft to host a charity event for his foundation.
Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.