Dirk Nowitzki is the most selfless superstar the Dallas Mavericks have ever seen. After taking discounts on consecutive deals, Nowitzki is finally going to get paid, signing a two-year contract at $40 million, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Nowitzki has made more than $200 million in his career, but he easily could have been approaching $300 million had he continued taking full max deals about five years ago. In 2010, Nowitzki took an $80 million deal when he could have maxed out at $96 million, and in 2014, Nowitzki took an enormous pay cut on a three-year, $25 million contract when teams around the league were on record about offering him the max.
There was a brief moment a few days ago where Dirk leaving this summer felt like it could be a real thing. It was scary and terrifying. With the contingency plan of Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut, Nowitzki is sure to be back. He probably wouldn't have really left anyway, saying before that he would only walk if Dallas intentionally tanked. That has never been their plan, and thus, it was always a near certainty that Nowitzki would return.
To sign Nowitzki to this much money, it means that the Mavericks kept his $12.5 million cap hold. We'll have a full salary cap breakdown today.
Nowitzki could have asked for the $31 million max, of course. Instead, he'll take a highly reasonable $20 million, getting paid in this year's crazy free agency market and staying in Dallas for the rest of his career.