There’s no question that Dirk Nowitzki is the biggest star on the Dallas Mavericks (though, Monta Ellis could became a mainstay for the team; we’ll see), and Mark Cuban wants his cash cow happy.
The team’s owner was asked about what he’ll do with regard to Dirk next season, since he’s in that 2014 free agent class, and Cuban said:
“I have no idea. But I'll talk to Dirk about it. Pretty much whatever he wants. Dirk's got a no-trade deal, so whether it's one year, three years, 20 years, it really doesn't matter. He gets to sign and re-sign as often as he wants. The length of the contract is more about how long longer Dirk wants to play more than anything else. Particularly with a young kid, he's gonna want to spend time, but he's also going to want to get some sleep. I don't see Dirk walking away from the game anytime soon. Dirk really wants to come back and send a message to everybody that he's got a lot left. The thing about Dirk is he's skill driven. He's basketball-IQ driven, he's wins driven. He's not driven by athleticism. As long as he stays healthy, he could play for a long time. It's amazing to me that we see what Tim Duncan does, and people say, OK that's Tim Duncan. And then they dismiss Dirk as if that's a fantasy for Dirk to attain the same thing. The good news is Dirk's using that as motivation. He's motivated and I'm fired up about that. And I think we've put together some great pieces to complement him.”
Saying that Cuban will do whatever Dirk wants is putting Cuban in a pretty sticky position. Granted, there’s a chance Dirk will never find out that the owner said this, and won’t demand any kind of exorbitant contract.
It’s also possible that Cuban is relying on his negotiation skills to haggle Dirk into a smallish contract in order to go after more big name players that will be out there.
There’s no question that the Mavericks are trying to reload, after inexplicably dismantling their team following winning the championship. They acquired Monta this off-season as well as Jose Calderon, who was the best 3-point shooter in the league last season, and they're evidence of at least trying to be great again.
Dirk is set to make $22.7 million this year and has spent 15 years in the NBA. He wasn’t showing many signs of aging last season, averaging 17 points per game, which is only 3 points less than his career average.