Marc Stein of ESPN, citing sources, reported that Nowitzki officially opted out of his contract and will become a free agent when the market opens on July 1.
Nowitzki, who turned 38 on Sunday, has spent his entire 18-year career with the Mavericks, earning an MVP award, one NBA Finals MVP trophy and 13 All-Star selections.
Ever since after the championship, we've been basically a first-round exit. We've been a seven, eight seed. We've only won a few playoff games, and obviously the goal was to compete at the highest level in my last couple of years. So there is some moving to do, some thinking, some putting our heads together the next few weeks heading into free agency, heading into the draft. So this is just one move that hopefully starts a chain reaction for us to get better again, to compete really at a high level. We'll see how it goes.
After he leaves on the table $25 million contract, he will probably explore the free agency and see where are the best options for him to finish a great career.
From 2011, he didn't play in the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs and that is the main reason why he decided to opt out this summer. Also, he can sign a long-term contract (3 years) and earn more money because of the salary cap.
What Marc Cuban said about Dirk' decision?
"Dirk gets to do what Dirk wants," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said during a recent public appearance. "Period, end of story.
"I told him the other day: If Dirk wants to be the head coach, we'll move Rick (Carlisle) over a little bit. Dirk's done so much for this franchise, he's earned that opportunity."
I'm more than sure that Dirk will stay and finish a career in the Dallas Mavericks, but let's assume that he will not sign with them. Who is the best option for him?
Golden State Warriors
They will probably let Harrison Barnes in the free agency and with the Warriors, Dirk Nowitzki could have a great opportunity to win his 2nd NBA Championships. He still could play a good offensive game and maybe they can use him with Draymond Green in the starting lineups.
Also, Steve Kerr could easily manage minutes and Dirk could stay very fresh during the regular season and he could have important minutes in the NBA Playoffs.
Oklahoma City Thunder
If Kevin Durant decides to sign with the Thunder, Dirk could play a big role in their team. With Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka, they will have an another option on the court, and he could play PF/C position with Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka in the same lineup, if they are playing against the small-ball lineups.
San Antonio Spurs
Gregg Popovich is always a good option, if we are talking about the old school players like Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol.
If Tim Duncan decides to retire, they will have an open position for Dirk Nowitzki. Just think about the great lineup with LaMarcus Aldridge and Dirk Nowitzki and the best ball movement in the league.
And what if the Spurs sign Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol? They will have one of the best frontcourts in the league. Yes, the oldest one, but with a lot of experiences.I think that the Spurs will try to attack once more the NBA Championship
I think that the Spurs will try to attack once more the NBA Championship and they will be very active in the off-season.