Dirk Nowitzki is giving his beloved Dallas Mavericks a discount so they can add marquee free agents and push for a second championship.
The Dallas Mavericks and the best shooting big man in the NBA have agreed to a three-year contract that would pay Nowitzki roughly $30 million, Yahoo! Sports reports. New contracts cannot be signed until Thursday July 10, and the deal is a handshake agreement between the two parties.
The 36-year-old German is taking a huge pay cut presumably as a strategy to add another key piece to the championship aspirations of the 2011 NBA Champions. This is similar to the contract signed by Tim Duncan with the San Antonio Spurs two years ago when he signed a three year deal with a player option for the last year. Duncan exercised that option a few days removed from winning his fifth championship to chase an unprecedented sixth.
The Mavericks on the other hand are hoping to add the third star to pair with Nowitzki and resurgent guard Monta Ellis who gave the Spurs a handful during their seven-game first round encounter in this year's playoffs. They have recently bolstered their line-up in their off-season re-acquisition of former Defensive Player of the year Tyson Chandler and guard Raymond Felton.
Dallas has been named as one of the top suitors for free agent forward Carmelo Anthony with whom the team met Thursday. However, owner Mark Cuban has recently stated that they cannot offer Anthony the full maximum allowable salary and are bonking on the prospect of a championship legacy with names like Nowitzki, Chandler and coach Rick Carlisle on the roster.
While Anthony is the top target of Dallas, they have also set their eyes on second tier targets playing the same spot as Anthony such as Houston Rockets' restricted free agent forward Chandler Parsons and Cleveland Cavaliers undrestricted free agent forward Luol Deng.
Dallas is also looking at finances to re-sign top contributors off the bench and role players such as forward Shawn Marion, guard Vince Carter and back-up point guard Devin Harris.