Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal to stay with the team on July 3.
"Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks have agreed in principle to a contract that will be very similar in size and duration to Tim Duncan's deal in San Antonio that averaged about $10 million per season over three years, sources said.
"It was only a matter of time until something got done with Nowitzki's deal. His free agency was expected to be very short-lived. And it was.
"The deal, which has an opt-out clause for Nowitzki after the 2015-16 season and also keeps his no-trade clause intact, means the Mavericks will have ample room to offer Carmelo Anthony a competitive contract on the free-agent market.
"If Anthony elects to land elsewhere, the Mavericks would have enough cap space to pursue another small forward such as free agent Luol Deng or restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, who might not be re-signable for Houston if the Rockets land Anthony.
"Like all agreements, Nowitzki's deal cannot be officially signed until July 10, but having him locked up now means that the Mavericks have a better grasp on how much they can spend on specific players in free agency.
"'Obviously, Dirk's not going anywhere,' Nelson said shortly after the Mavs-Spurs playoff series ended in early May. 'He's built the franchise. He's been with us from day one. Certainly, there's negotiations to take place, but he loves this city and he wants to call it his home. We certainly reciprocate those feelings, so our hope is we'll get something done that's not only in Dirk's best (interests) but also affects the flexibility of the future of the Mavericks.'
"Nowitzki seconded that opinion.
"'We want to get better as a team,' Nowitzki said. 'We'll find a good way where I feel respected for what I did and we still have enough money left for us to get great players in here. (Cuban) has been great to me and been loyal to me for a long, long time. I'm sure we're going to find a solution for everybody. They always do.'
"Nowitzki has played all 16 of his NBA seasons in Dallas and has averaged 22.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He's a 12-time All-Star and has a 47.6 percent career shooting percentage."
The Forth Worth Star-Telegram's Dwain Price confirms Nowitzki's commitment to the Mavericks, who spoke with Anthony at owner Mark Cuban's home on July 2:
"Dirk Nowitzki verbally agreed to sign a three-year, $30 million free agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
"The contract includes a player option which makes Nowitzki a free agent after the 2015-'16 season, and also includes a no-trade clause. ESPN first reported the contract agreement.
"After the deal was agreed to, Nowitzki took to Twitter and tweeted 'MFFL,' which stands for Mavs Fan For Life.
MFFL— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) July 3, 2014
"Nowitzki, 36, is entering his 17th season and has never played for any other NBA team except the Mavs. This past season the 7-footer was the oldest player in the All-Star Game, which was his 12th.
"This past season Nowitzki averaged 21.7 points and 6.2 rebounds. The Mavs are hoping to pair him with New York Knicks free agent Carmelo Anthony, who visited Dallas on Wednesday and spent about three hours at owner Mark Cuban's home.
"But the Mavs are positioning themselves to make a run at Houston Rockets restricted free agent forward Chandler Parsons and/or Cleveland Cavaliers unrestricted free agent forward Luol Deng if Anthony decides to sign elsewhere."
Sefko breaks down Nowitzki's new deal in a separate blog post:
"Several sources have confirmed that Dirk Nowitzki's newly-minted contract with the Dallas Mavericks is similar, if not identical, to the Tim Duncan contract he signed with San Antonio before the 2012-13 season.
"Here's a look at what the deal looked like.
"By the way, like Nowitzki, Duncan took more than a 50 percent pay cut when he signed the new deal.
"A look at Duncan's recent salary.
"2011-12: $21.2 million
"2012-13: $9.6 million
"2013-14: $10.4 million
"2014-15: $10.4 million"