Dirk Nowitzki will be a free agent this summer but you don’t hear his name tossed around because he has already said he will re-sign in Dallas, and at a significantly reduced rate.
He’s hinted at signing for a couple more years then walking away.
However his German mentor, Holger Geschwindner (the guy that came up with the crazy workout and warmup routines) told Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com Dirk could play even longer if he wanted.
“Dirk is not living out of his physical abilities — can [not] jump like crazy, run as quick as some — so the thing is, on that level, I guess if he’s not seriously injured he can play three or four more years easily,” Geschwindner said Friday during an interview with ESPNDallas.com after the Mavs’ practice. “The basic idea is as long as it’s fun to go into work on the court and it’s still interesting, he should do it, because I think the worst is if you stop and then you sit at home and think, ‘Oh,’ and you want to come back. You know all the big names that tried to do that. That does not work and it doesn’t make sense.
“So play until you die and they drag you off the court. Then it’s over. Then you really know it’s over and you can live with it.”
Spoken like a cranky old man.
However he’s not saying anything that Mavs owner Mark Cuban hasn’t already said.
“It’s up to him, as long as he wants to he’ll be here,” the Mavericks’ owner told PBT back in January. “Like I said earlier Dirk never played off athleticism; he plays off of heart, he plays off of brains, he plays off of technique. He’s a surgeon, he makes it into a science. He’s a student of the game and in a lot of respects that helps him, you’ll see he knows how to protect his body, which makes him look really awkward at times but he understands context….
“It’s not like we were wowed by his athleticism or wowed with his speed (when the Mavs drafted him). Dirk is all about German precision.”
You can see some slippage in Nowitzki’s game — he’s not as quick defensively as he was and he can’t sustain a dominant level of play for quite as long. That said he can still do it for stretches each game and he continues to be smart and efficient.
I would expect this summer for the Mavs and Nowitzki to reach a deal with a couple years guaranteed and a few player option years beyond that. Let Nowitzki make the call when he is ready.
Whether that’s two years from now or four.