Is Dirk Nowitzki planning to end his career with the Golden State Warriors? According to a source close to the Warriors, there is mutual interest between the two sides that could lead to a free agency meeting next month.
Nowitzki, 38, is a future first ballot Hall of Famer. But the iconic power forward hasn’t been contending for championships since his Dallas Mavericks won the title in 2011. Since then, Nowitzki and the Mavs have taken a backseat to the likes of Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers in the top heavy Western Conference.
According to Tim Kawakami of Mercury News, the Warriors are already looking to reload their roster in the aftermath of the heartbreaking NBA Finals Game 7 defeat at Oracle Arena on Sunday.
Dirk Nowitzki to come off bench?
“This is why the Warriors want Dirk Nowitzki. Did I surprise you with that name? I was surprised when I heard that a run for Nowitzki was bouncing around the Warriors’ thought process recently, but it makes sense,” Kawakami reported on Monday.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob, on what's next for his team, said firmly on his way out of Oracle: "All I can say is I will be very aggressive."
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 20, 2016
It’s hard to imagine Nowitzki, drafted by Mavs back in 1998, playing for any other team. However, would anyone blame the German for chasing another ring? “Does he want to a multi-year deal to start at center? Come off the bench? Be featured in the second-quarter unit with Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston? Yes, Nowitzki in that spot over Marreese Speights or Festus Ezeli is an upgrade for the 2017 playoffs, put it that way,” opined Kawakami.
Bob Myers, Golden State’s award-winning GM, is looking to pull all the stops this summer, which includes pursuing Kevin Durant and Nowitzki. According to a Warriors executive, Myers plans to be “very, very aggressive” in his approach towards free agency.
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The Warriors have roughly $75 million committed to the 2016-17 season (excluding the cap holds) against a $94 million cap. That would give them just about enough room to sign one marquee free agent, provided they allow restricted free agent Harrison Barnes walk.
Even though the Warriors plan to court Durant, ESPN insider Kevin Pelton reckons that such a move could hurt chemistry. “The Kevin Durant dream should be dead now, and I don’t see any other free agent the Warriors could add as worth the necessary hit to their depth and chemistry. I think Golden State matches a max offer to (Harrison) Barnes, re-signs (Festus) Ezeli and maybe tweaks around the margins to get more shot creation in the second unit,” Pelton wrote in his insider piece.
Nowitzki, who owns a $8 million player option for next season, averaged 18.3 points and 6.5 rebounds last season.
Would Dirk Nowitzki be keen on joining the Warriors? Remember, Steve Nash – one Nowitzki’s closest friends – is a part of Steve Kerr’s staff. Would that influence his decision?