Mavericks decline Dirk Nowitzki's option, expected to re-sign him

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks

After going 24-58 last season, the Dallas Mavericks could enjoy a quick turnaround.

Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. will be coming off of a rookie campaign in which he averaged 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 29.7 minutes per contest over 69 games played. He still has a lot to improve on, but he’s going to have a full summer to work on his game.

The Mavs also traded up for international star Luka Doncic in the 2018 Draft. Coming off of a Euroleague MVP season that ended in a championship with Real Madrid, the 19 year old enters the NBA as the most accomplished European teenager ever.

Swingman Harrison Barnes and sharpshooter Wesley Matthews are also signed through next season, as are athletic big man Dwight Powell, veteran point guard J.J. Barea, wing Dorian Finney-Smith and big man Maxi Kleber. Legendary power forward Dirk Nowitzki will also most likely be returning for his 21st NBA season, all of which have been in Dallas.

Since DeAndre Jordan opted out of the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, the path is there for him to sign in Dallas. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the interest between the two sides shortly after Jordan opted out.

However, in order to sweeten the deal for Jordan, someone else had to make a sacrifice.

Gone, but not for long

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the Mavericks declined Dirk Nowitzki’s $5 million team option for next season. But, that doesn't mean he won't be with the team next season.

“It was a mutual decision, with the Mavs planning to re-sign Nowitzki in July. If the Mavs spend all of their cap space, they can use the cap-room exception of $4.4 million to re-sign Nowitzki, who has taken several discounts to help Dallas have flexibility to pursue other players during his career,” MacMahon reported.

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks

Last season, Nowitzki averaged 12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds in 24.7 minutes over 77 games and proved that he can still perform at a high level. With 31,187 career points, the 13-time All-Star ranks sixth on the NBA's all-time scoring list and will add to his Hall of Fame resume as he continues playing.

As a result of the declined option, Dallas now has approximately $27 million in salary-cap space. It’s important to note that Jordan would have made $24.1 million if he chose to exercise his player option in Los Angeles.

There’s no indication of what the Mavs will offer Jordan, but they could seemingly give him a small raise if they plan on making him the only high-profile free agent signing of their offseason.

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