The Warriors just lost the Finals after having the greatest regular season of all time. What’s next? They’re already known to be gearing up to make a run at Kevin Durant, but that seems unlikely. The front office wants to be aggressive in free agency, and they’ll reach out to anybody and everybody. One name the San Jose Mercury News‘ Tim Kawakami has heard, that has been presumed to be untouchable: Dirk Nowitzki. Yes, really.
They will have some money to spend, can create more space if they need to, and can offer a nice situation for a veteran aiming for one last title (and to be credited for returning the Warriors to the mountaintop).
And Nowitzki–who won a title with Dallas in 2011 but hasn’t won a playoff series since–is somebody Warriors management has circled.
This is probably a pipe dream. There’s no reason to believe Nowitzki, at this point in his career, has any interest in leaving Dallas. He’s said many times over the years that he wants to retire a Maverick, and the thought of him playing for another team is like imagining Tim Duncan outside of San Antonio or Kobe Bryant in a jersey besides the Lakers.
But Nowitzki also has little interest in playing out the final years of his career on a rebuilding team, and that’s where the Mavs seem to be headed. Surely Mark Cuban would understand if Nowitzki wanted to ride out on a contender. He proved this year that he still has enough left to contribute at a high level, even if he can’t be the first option on a title team like he was in 2011. With the Warriors’ depth, he wouldn’t have to do much other than hit open shots, and the idea of Dirk Nowitzki as a bench-unit shooter is terrifying, even at age 38.
Still, it’s tough to see him leaving Dallas. His relationships with Cuban and Rick Carlisle run so deep that if Cuban makes an effort to add more talent this summer, he’s going to see it through.