Dirk Nowitzki to opt out of Mavericks deal but has no plans to leave

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Football News

Dirk Nowitzki performed something of a u-turn this week by revealing that he plans to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Dallas Mavericks this summer.

But, although the German veteran will no longer see out his three-year, $25 million deal, there is no reason for fans of the Texas franchise to panic.

That's after Nowitzki followed up his announcement, made during an appearance on Dallas radio show '1310 The Ticket', by confirming his opting out is instead about helping the Mavericks built a roster around him that can compete for a title.

'We had one more year on the contract, but I think this is the right thing to do," the 37-year-old explained.

"We're going to sit with Mark and Donnie, obviously, over the next few weeks and figure out how to improve this franchise again."

Mark and Donnie referring to Dallas' owner Mark Cuban and General Manager Donnie Nelson.

"Ever since after the championship, we've been basically a first-round exit. We've been a seven, eight seed. We've only won a few playoff games, and, obviously, the goal was to compete at the highest level in my last couple of years," Nowitzki continued.

"So there is some moving to do, some thinking, some putting our heads together the next few weeks heading into free agency, heading into the draft. So this is just one move that hopefully starts a chain reaction for us to get better again, to compete really at a high level. We'll see how it goes."

Having been set to earn $8.7 million in the 2016-17 NBA season, Nowitzki's comments certainly suggest that a pay cut could be around the corner when he restructures his stay in Dallas.

The money left over could then, of course, be used to help the Mavs front office bring in a higher calibre of reinforcements during the impending free agency.

Nowitzki has been with the Mavericks his entire 18-year NBA career and currently ranks sixth on the league's all-time scoring list coming off the back of a season in which he averaged 20.9 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Since helping the Western Conference franchise to win the title back in 2011, however, he and Dallas have struggled to reach the same heights.

In the five years since lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy, Dirk and the Mavs have lost in the first round on four occasions and missed out on the playoffs altogether in 2013.

Having lost 4-1 to the Thunder in the first round this year, the team clearly needs some new additions to help breach the gap in the West. Nowitzki opting out could allow those ambitions to be achieved.

Dallas Mavericks
Southwest Division
Western Conference
NBA Playoffs
Dirk Nowitzki

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