The Dallas Mavericks are currently 13-21 and appear poised to miss the postseason for the first time in over a decade. Everyone knew that the team would be in rebuilding mode this year after their failed bid at bringing in Deron Williams, however, nobody expected for things to be this bad.
With his squad having recorded all of two victories in 13 tries, Dirk Nowitzki is publicly voicing his concerns.
"Maybe Cuban has something up his sleeve. Maybe you have to take a chance on a bad contract to get him in here and make something happen. I mean, I don't know. That's something we'll have to see this summer. We're going to play out this season. I'm going to get better and better, hopefully from game to game, so I can actually close out some of these games. And then we'll see what happens,” he told ESPN recently.
It’s a pitch that is easy for players to make, of course – it’s not their money. Plus, if you scan the trade market right now, there isn’t a whole lot available that would turn the Mavericks into contenders.
For his part, Nowitzki gets that. And he also seems to get the options that his owner is mulling over right now.
“Either you break the whole thing up and trade me or you get a bunch of one-year deals and try to be a player next summer. That’s the decision we made, so now we’ve got to fight through it.
“The only reason I would leave — or would have left — is if we wouldn’t have won the championship and I would have been like a Karl Malone and (Gary) Payton going to join Kobe and Shaq in L.A. like they did at the end,” Nowitzki said. “But now I’ve got a ring and obviously want to finish my career here. But I also want to be competitive.”
Ultimately, it may come down to just that decision for Nowitzki: pull a Kevin Garnett and link up with a contender, or be the loyal soldier for the duration. Nowitzki (unlike K.G.) got his ring and has a competent owner that has been very good to him, but you can understand why he isn’t content sitting back and being a declining player on a bottom-of-the-West Mavericks team.