The Dallas Mavericks capped a whirlwind 24 hours over free-agency weekend with what can be categorized by Mavs fans as the biggest "get'' of all: Franchise icon Dirk Nowitzki is staying with the Mavs, sources told DallasBasketball.com early Monday afternoon, under the terms of agreement that was to originally pay him Dallas' remaining cap room - which we estimate to be $9 million to $12 million. ... But with a Marc Stein Monday morning story saying the deal is now "two years and $40 mil.''
A Mavs source tells us today that the deal is "$20 mil per year.'' (But keep in your pocket the concept of the "MAX/MIN,'' OK?)
According to our calculations, the change can only have come with the Mavs slicing $750,000 (from somewhere in order to retain the Nowitzki cap hold, enabling them to give him the larger deal.
About a month ago, DB.com talked one-on-one to Mavs owner Mark Cuban about Nowitzki's future salary. "Dirk will get from me whatever he wants,'' Cuban said. "He deserves whatever he wants.''
And this ... is what he wants.
"I'm saying in Dallas,'' he confirmed last night via spox.com.
Dirk entered the summer stating that he wanted the Mavericks to be more competitive while also possibly desiring a bigger piece of the financial pie for himself, depending on circumstances. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, he desired a sort of "shared sacrifice' on the teams financial totem pole. And Mavs management worked with him to make certain that "locker-room culture" is also a part of team building. ... With the Dirk/Donnie Nelson/Mark Cuban loyalty also in play, of course.
And note: Dirk could've demanded a $30-mil max. And there are cap-legal ways to do that. But both sides are satisfied with this arrangement, as as we write this, Dallas' cap space is about $9 mil to $12 mil ... Barring an unforeseen change, the plan calls for it all going to Nowitzki, meaning he's technically getting a raise (from his previous $8.3 mil wage).
The Mavs failed over this weekend in their first attempt to get great fast, striking out on a trio of Tier-1 free agents. But they engineered a Tier-2 recovery on Sunday evening and Monday morning that represents some level of success ... obviously enough to keep the free-agent Nowitzki from ring-chasing elsewhere.
In a 24-hour span, the Mavs re-upped a young bench piece in Dwight Powell (four years and $37 mil), gained another young bench piece in Seth Curry (with the two-year $2.9 mil MLE) and acquired three starters: incumbent point guard Deron Williams (one year at $10 mil), BLOAT-trade pickup Andrew Bogut to play center (for one year and $11 mil along with pick/picks of the "2019-conditional-second-rounder'' variety) and max-money small forward Harrison Barnes (four years and $94 mil) to replace the departed Chandler Parsons.
Well, and Dirk. Four starters.
So, because the Mavericks stole away two members of the Warriors (Barnes and Bogut were made available because Kevin Durant want to Golden State), does that mean that Dallas can compete on a level with the Warriors?
Of course not.
But it means they can compete on a level that keeps Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas. And for now, that will have to be enough.