Dirk Nowitzki has opted out of his contact with the Dallas Mavericks, making him an unrestricted free agent on Friday. The move has stirred a bevy of free agency talks, including new Cleveland Cavaliers rumors, on where the superstar forward might end up next.
Majority of basketball pundits expect Nowitzki to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks. But if there is a slight chance he may entertain offers from other teams, the Cavaliers will be at the top of the list of potential suitors.
There have been nonstop Cavaliers rumors suggesting that they are looking to unload Kevin Love’s hefty contract. The team sees Nowitzki as a viable replacement. The Cavaliers could also get him for dirt cheap if he agrees to sign the veteran minimum to play alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
Fan Sided pointed out that Nowitzki’s game perfectly fits the Cavaliers offense. The 2011 NBA Finals MVP would be open most of the times as defenses will no longer focus on him. He would also be able to play freely without having to carry a franchise on his shoulders.
Tyronn Lue would likely use Nowitzki as a stretch forward. He would be asked to spread the floor to allow LeBron and Kyrie to attack the paint.
On defense, Nowitzki’s 7-foot-frame is enough to bother shots. He isn’t an elite defender and wouldn’t have to be that kind of player in Cleveland. Tristan Thompson would take care of the hustle and rebounding while Nowitzki’s job is to knock down open shots for the defending champions.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and GM Donnie Nelson will do everything in their power to re-sign Nowitzki. The 38-year-old German has also alluded to finishing his career with the team he has played for since 1998.
However, the Mavericks haven’t been competitive the past few seasons. It remains to be seen if Nowitzki would forgo loyalty in exchange for an instant championship run with LeBron and Kyrie.
Cavaliers GM David Griffin last week sent out a vague recruitment pitch to all upcoming free agents. He said the team’s recent NBA championship is just the tip of the iceberg.
”I think our best basketball’s in front of us because we finally organically grew to the point that we were ready to achieve something together,” Griffin told ESPN. “And so I expect you’re going to see better play from Kyrie Irving, who I think took a huge jump both as an individual talent and a winner throughout these playoffs.”