Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki says he’s willing to take a “significant pay cut” next summer if the team goes after Chris Paul and/or Dwight Howard.
“At this point of my career, it’s all about competing and winning,” Nowitzki said Thursday, via ESPNDallas.com. “It’s not about money. Obviously, Cuban took care of me for a long, long time. I always tried to pay him back by hard playing and being here for this franchise, so I don’t think we’re going to fight over money. I want to compete over these last couple of years. That’s going to be the goal.”
Nowitzki signed a four-year, $80 million deal in 2010, the next season the Mavericks won their franchise’s first NBA title.
Nowitzki, 34, will make $22.7 million in his final contract year, more than every NBA payer except Kobe Bryant.
Nowitzki plans to sign a two-or-three- year deal with the Mavericks next summer.
“I guess that’s something we need to look at next summer when it gets to the point, but I’m sure it will be a significant pay cut,” said Nowitzki.
The 11-time All-Star hopes Dallas can swoop in and steal either Paul or Howard from Los Angeles.
“We’d love to get one of the main guys,” Nowitzki said. “It’s going to be tough to get them out of the situation that they’re in. I think that’s pretty easy (to see). I think both are in L.A., where you want to play basketball and both are in great positions and situations. We’ll just have to wait and see.
“I think they needed to get away a little bit and clear their minds the last couple of weeks. By now, I’m sure they’re starting to think about, ‘What’s my future looking like?’ So that’s where we swoop in and hopefully get something going, hopefully get a meeting scheduled somewhere in July and hit it out of the ballpark.”
The most Dallas can offer for either Howard or Paul is a four-year deal worth around $80 million, while their current teams can offer them a five-year deal worth around $100 million.
“Hopefully, some of those guys will decide to come, and if not, we’ve gotta have a plan B. If none of those top free agents come, we gotta make some moves with sign and trades or something. We want to get back to the playoffs and be a factor. We owe it to these fans who come out every single night to support us.”