What's next for the Mavs this summer?
Monday evening, the Mavericks announced the official re-signing of power forward Dirk Nowitzki. While the organization did not disclose the terms of the deal, the team's all-time leader in virtually every major category reportedly agreed to a contract on July 4 worth an estimated $80 million over a four-year span. The deal is also said to make the 32-year-old Nowitzki just the second player with a no-trade clause in the NBA, joining Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.
Reports say that the 2007 MVP and 34th member of the 20,000-point club also took less than the maximum $96 million on the table, giving the Dallas front office more options this offseason while attempting to upgrade the talent level on the roster.
"I know it's been tough endings over the years, but I still believe we can do it," Nowitzki, a 12-year veteran, said before heading into the offseason. "If we make some acquisitions, keep plugging and keep fighting, then hopefully we can get it done."
But now that the team has inked both Nowitzki and center Brendan Haywood, the Mavericks' two free-agent priorities, in addition to executing a five-player trade with the Charlotte Bobcats that brought back centers Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca, what will be the next move? Or are the Mavs done wheeling and dealing for the summer?
With Nowitzki, Haywood, Chandler, Ajinca and the recently signed Ian Mahinmi, the Mavericks now have five players that stand at least 7-feet tall. Future Hall of Famer and floor general Jason Kidd will once again be running the show. And the squad also has two up-and-coming guards, second-year pro Roddy Beaubois and first-round acquisition Dominique Jones, that impressed during the Las Vegas Summer League.
Add to the equation the 2009 Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry, former All-Stars Shawn Marion and Caron Butler, along with reserve guards J.J. Barea and DeShawn Stevenson, and the Mavericks have talent up and down the roster.
An active offseason has helped the Mavs reach their summer goal of getting younger and more athletic, bringing in players that are capable of playing in an uptempo system while dropping the team's average age to just under 28 years old.
"The good thing is that we've got some good, young, exciting pieces -- coupled with the experience of Dirk and Jason (Kidd)," president of basketball operations and general manager Donnie Nelson said when the summer began. "We feel like with a couple of additions, we'll be right back in the thick of things next year."
And with two roster spots left to fill before the team's training camp in late September, and the full mid-level exception (about $6 million) left to work with, the team could look to add a couple more young veterans into the fold before it's all said and done.
For all of your coverage of the Dallas Mavericks this offseason, visit Mavs.com. Follow Earl K. Sneed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/EKS_MavsNBA.
Also, check out Mavs.com's exclusive webcast "Technical Foul," as EKS joins the Mavs' television team of Mark Followill and Bob Ortegel.