Posted by Rob Mahoney on July 3, 2010 under Commentary, News, Previews, Roster Moves | 5 Comments to Read

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Someday, I’ll be forced to sit down at my keyboard and articulate exactly what Dirk Nowitzki has meant to the Dallas Mavericks. It will be painful and absolutely futile. I’ll haphazardly throw thoughts into this virtual space with the hope that some of it means something, and yet be forced to face the realization that none of it could possibly do Dirk and his career justice. What this man has done for this franchise and basketball in general is beyond words, words, words, and I pity the future me that’s forced to write such a basketball epitaph.

Instead, I couldn’t be happier to say that the Mavericks will continue with business as usual. Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs have agree to terms on a four-year, $80 million contract, in which Nowitzki will leave some $16.2 million on the table to benefit the only franchise he’s ever known. It’s a touching gesture from the most important figure in Dallas Mavericks history, and fuels the hope of a substantial upgrade this off-season. Nowitzki’s unselfishness has given Mark Cuban the liberty to chase stars, and even if he ends up grasping at the biggest and brightest with little to show for it, Dirk’s sacrifice means plenty.

Though Nowitzki can’t officially ink the deal until July 8th, the agreement between him and the Mavs signals the beginning of the next stage of Dallas’ off-season. Brendan Haywood should now become the team’s top priority, and beyond that, the proper and optimal utilization of Erick Dampier’s instantly expiring contract. There are all kind of targets and options available to Dallas, and with Nowitzki locked up until 2014, only now can they become more than mere possibilities.

Dirk is also the proud new owner of a no-trade clause, one of two such clauses to currently exist in the NBA. In actuality, it means very little; it’s extremely unlikely that Cuban and Nelson would ever trade Dirk without his consent anyway, which means that the clause is merely a literal version of an established principle. It’s just something to keep everyone sleeping a bit more soundly at night, and if that’s what Mark and Donnie afforded Dirk to compensate for his considerable financial concessions, then good on all them.

It should be a busy summer, but take a moment to celebrate: the Mavs have just agreed to the best deal of free agency thus far.

  • Jacob

    Not second-ever no-trade clause, but second active one (other being Kobe of course). Horace Grant also had one. Maybe others, too.

    • Rob Mahoney

      @Jacob: Thanks for the clarification. I’ve edited accordingly.

  • Cynthia

    YES! Let the other teams battle over the ‘divas’…..we’ve got Dirk! One of the greatest, most unselfish power forwards to EVER play the game. Anyone who has the chance to make some serious dough, plus have the chance to play with Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd and turn that down is a fool. But right now all MFFLs should thank the basketball gods for giving us a fine selfless man, a pure class act that is Dirk Nowitzki.

  • Dan Hansen

    excellent news – thanks for getting the news out, Rob.

    $16 million dollars is a lot to leave on the table. That’s a lot to give up just for a championship ring. Hope they use it wisely.

  • Kirk Henderson

    I had hoped in the back of my mind that he would do something like this. The Maverick-Dirk partnership has been fruitful for a long time. Add in the Dirk hardly seems to the type to throw money at ridiculous ventures or blow it all for friends and family; I’d bet good money that Dirk has been very wise with his money. $16 million is a ton to leave on the table, but at some point when you, you family, and any progeny’s future is well taken care of, you have to wonder when you have enough money.

    Dirk made that call and has decided that a chance at a ring with Dallas is more important to him than cash or a chance at a ring period.

    We all know we’ve witnessed something special from Dirk for years now. Yet he still manages to surprise us. Drink it in people – we’re unlikely to be blessed with such a talented, underscored, selfless athlete on the Mavericks in our lifetime.