Dirk Nowitzki has spent his entire 19-season career with the Mavericks, and it increasingly appears he will finish it in Dallas. ESPN reported Thursday that the 39-year-old veteran and the Mavs are finalizing a two-year, $10 million deal, with the second year a team option.
That salary figure is significantly less than the $25 million team option offer Nowitzki declined last month, according to ESPN. It’s the third time he’s taken a significant pay cut to aid the Mavericks’ salary-cap flexibility and help the team field a winner.
While the 7-foot center/forward isn’t the offensive force he was when he won the 2006-07 MVP award and 2011 Finals MVP honors, he’s still a strong contributor. He averaged 14.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season, despite missing time with Achilles issues.
Nowitzki is already in rarefied air in the NBA’s all-time statistics. He’s sixth on the NBA’s scoring list with 30,260 career points and trails fifth-place Wilt Chamberlain by 1,159 points.
When Nowitzki starts his 20th season with the Mavs, he’ll tie Kobe Bryant for the longest tenure of any NBA player in history playing for only one team.