NBA Free Agency: Five Potential Sign-and-Trade Options for Dirk Nowitzki
While it’s highly likely that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will keep his prized possession in Dirk Nowitzki, there’s still an outside chance the Mavs’ MVP could find his way to Phoenix, New York, or elsewhere.
So, what are five semi-realistic options for Nowitzki’s future?
5. New York Knicks
One team leading the LeBron James free agency discussions is the New York Knicks, and it’s also another possible landing spot for Dirk Nowitzki.
And although I have New York at No. 5 on my list of possible future destinations for Nowitzki, the Knicks could still easily nab the Mavericks big man—depending, of course, on what moves they make when the summer’s signing madness begins.
Look for New York, at the very least, to look into options for acquiring Nowitzki—and possibly signing him.
With NY being a big market, and likely being big spenders this offseason, they will absolutely be enticed by the idea of making Nowitzki a Knick.
Where will the Knicks be come tip-off the 2010-11 season? What team will be hitting the New York hardwood in late October? Is next season’s team even going to closely resemble what the 2009-10 season saw?
All those answers—and many more—await fans, teammates, owners, and coaches alike in what will be a very busy summer.
4. Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards are going to have a completely revamped roster and new set of faces to begin the 2010-11 season—beginning with attaining the No. 1 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.
And that’s great news for Wiz fans.
Could Nowitzki be part of the new team-to-be in Washington?
John Wall, the Kentucky star 99.9 percent of the world is predicting to be the No. 1 selection in this summer’s NBA Draft, will all ready put the Wizards on the brink of being major contenders in the near future.
Look for Washington to at least inquire about Nowitzki this summer, as the possibility of Dirk becoming a Wizard next season is a high probability.
Plus, the Wiz know all about cashing in with probabilities on the line—just look back to the recent lottery and you’ll see a team predicted to get the No. 3 pick steal away the No. 1 choice, leaving the New Jersey Nets in the dust.
We’ll see what transpires this summer, but keep Washington on the radar as a new team for Nowitzki in the 2010-11 season.
3. Phoenix Suns
Although dishing Dirk to a Western Conference team is unlikely, the Phoenix Suns will be the front runners—and likely the highest bidders—to land Nowitzki in a possible summer deal.
Why? And how?
The why is fairly easy, ranging from a reunion with Steve Nash to Nowitzki possibly being the needed piece to push the Suns to the NBA Finals.
The how is a bit trickier, but it could still occur—likely in a sign-and-trade scenario involving numerous teams.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The Suns will be making some offseason moves, there’s no doubt about it.
And those moves could easily include Nowitzki—with Phoenix being, at least in my opinion, one of the only Western Conference teams with the ability to steal away the Dallas big man.
One thing’s for sure: this summer’s going to be extremely entertaining.
2. New Jersey Nets
We can’t keep the new Russian big-spender out of this top five list—especially when talking about possible sign-and-trade options, as the New Jersey Nets will be doing a whole lot of wheeling and dealing (in addition to picking No. 3 in this summer’s NBA Draft) in preparation for the 2010-11 season.
Mikhail Prokhorov, New Jersey’s new billionaire owner, is prepared to do whatever it takes to make the Nets contenders in the NBA.
Granted, he took a loss in the lottery when Washington stole away the No. 1 pick and left New Jersey with a No. 3 selection.
But the Nets can still nab a damn good player at No. 3, as I personally believe this summer’s draft pool is extremely deep and talented.
Prokhorov, dubbed "the Russian Mark Cuban" by sportswriters such as Bill Simmons, is going to be making some noise this offseason.
Bank on it.
And the Nets very well may land Nowitzki for the 2010-11 season.
1. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls will be doing a whole lot of remodeling and rebuilding this offseason, but a majority of the key parts are set in stone.
They’ll just have a new coach next season, along with hopefully signing some needed additions to lift the Bulls to postseason play and beyond.
And Nowitzki could easily land in Chicago, depending on (of course) the outcome of this summer’s free agency lottery pool—led by LeBron James—and where the pieces of those puzzles fall into place.
Let’s say, for instance, LeBron doesn’t land in Chicago.
Would Nowitzki be in a better place as a member of the Bulls than in Dallas?
Personally, my answer would be yes. But this summer is going to be one insane roller coaster ride.
And it’s really just a matter of time before we all have the answers to all of these questions…
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org