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Dirk Nowitzki Contract Option Declined by Mavericks, Will Sign New Dallas Deal

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 5:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks handles the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 5, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Dirk Nowitzki's hefty $25 million contract option was declined by the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, though he is expected to sign a new deal and return to the Mavs for his 20th NBA season in 2017-18, per Marc Stein of ESPN.

Stein reported the sides have "strongly considered" a two-year contract to keep the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer in Dallas.

In an interview with Stein on TrueHoop Conversations (h/t ESPN.com) in March, the German revealed his intention to play for the Mavs in 2017-18: "I said last summer: I signed a two-year deal, [and] that obviously meant I want to play for two more. I want to complete that deal."

Nowitzki also suggested next season will be his final one:

"Twenty is a great number. I think 20 seasons also with one team, like I'm trying to do it—I think only Kobe has done it—that's another great accomplishment. So I kinda want to make the 20 fold. Plus that summer I'm turning 40. I think that's also a good number to be in the league ... from 20 to 40. That's what I'm looking at."‎

The 13-time All-Star is coming off his worst season since his rookie campaign in 1998-99 due largely to injuries.

Nowitzki missed 28 games and finished with averages of 14.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest.

The Mavericks also struggled as a whole, finishing 11th in the Western Conference with a record of 33-49.

Nowitzki has long been the unquestioned face of the franchise, and no player comes close to matching his accomplishments in a Mavs uniform.

He is the 2006-07 NBA MVP and also won the NBA Finals MVP in 2011, when the Mavericks won their first and only championship.

Nowitzki is sixth on the NBA's all-time scoring list with 30,260 points, and while he's unlikely to approach his career averages of 21.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game next season, he can still be a key part of a talented team that has a chance to return to the playoffs after a one-year absence.

With a core expected to consist of Harrison Barnes, Nerlens Noel, Wesley Matthews and Yogi Ferrell, there is enough in place to give Nowitzki one more postseason run before he rides off into the sunset.

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