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Dirk Nowitzki to Come off Bench for Mavericks, Rick Carlisle Says

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 1: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks watches from the bench during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on April 1, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Mavericks 98-87. 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. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Dirk Nowitzki
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Dirk Nowitzki will play a different role for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2018-19 season. 

Per Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News, Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle announced Nowitzki will likely be used off the bench. 

Nowitzki has been a starter virtually his entire career. His rookie season in 1998-99 is the only time he's come off the bench more than six times. 

The signing of DeAndre Jordan left Nowitzki in a precarious position. The 40-year-old was Dallas' primary center last season, though he seemed open to taking on a different role moving forward. 

"Obviously, DeAndre's going to be our starter at the five position and the rest will just kind of fall in place after that," Nowitzki told Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. "If [Barnes] goes back to the four or we start other ways, I have no idea as of yet. But it's a great problem to have. We want to be a franchise that is back in the playoffs and plays well and has fun again."

The Mavericks have turned an eye toward the future with Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr. and rookie Luka Doncic likely to play key roles this season. 

Nowitzki returned to Dallas after signing a one-year deal in July. The future Hall of Famer has spent his entire 21-year career with the Mavs. He is the franchise's all-time leader in games (1,471), points (31,187), rebounds (11,331), field goals (11,034), three-point field goals (1,918) and free throws (7,201). 

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