ESPN reported that Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki is likely to opt-out of his contract, ostensibly add his name to the free agency pool, and as an unrestricted free agent at that. What does that mean for Knick fans? Quite possibly not a damn thing. Even if he 100% wants to return to the Mavs, he’d still do this for contractual reasons, so it doesn’t imply he’s contemplating leaving in the slightest. What’re the contractual reasons?
Opting out to sign a new deal, for starters, would lock in terms based on the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement through the life of the next contract. Under the league’s current system, Nowitzki is eligible for a four-year maximum contract from Dallas worth $96.2 million once he opts out. The most he could receive from another team is a four-year deal worth $93.1 million.
Signing a three-year extension to the last remaining season on his current contract, by contrast, would expose Nowitzki to potential after-the-fact reductions to his annual wage if league owners are successful in their attempts to lower the value of maximum salaries in the next collective bargaining agreement.
[...] Another motivation for Nowitzki to opt out as opposed to signing an extension is the ability to secure a no-trade clause.
If Dirk played for anyone else besides Mark Cuban, I’d say this also was a good maneuver to put pressure on management to improve the team, but Cuban’s already made public his plans to go after LeBron.
Everyone’s likely already heard the big Bosh news, but it bears repeating in case you haven’t: he gave his agent a list of 5 teams that interest him. Current team Toronto, plus New York, Miami, Chicago, and the Lakers. Four good things popped out at me from the info.
1.The obvious: we’re one of the few on it.
2.No Cleveland, thus preventing the possible Jamison/Bosh sign-and-trade that I thought could be the one sure way to convince LeBron to stay with the Cavs.
3. Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss has already said that he doesn’t want to spend more money on the team (&he’s currently hoping to greatly reduce Phil Jackson’s salary), so that kinda cuts them outta the picture and knocks it down to four teams. Even if the Lakers lose this season, it’ll likely be ‘cuz they get beaten up down low by the Celtics (as happened in 2008), and Bosh hasn’t shown that he has the toughness to deal with that.
4.Bosh said he’d like to join up with LeBron (or if Miami, then Wade), which means he’s gotten past his comment earlier this season that he thinks he could be the main piece of a championship.
That last one’s good ‘cuz it gives us a bit of a shot to get LeBron since it’s unlikely King James would come here solo with our current less-than-inspiring supporting cast. And we know Wade ain’t leaving Miami. So it’s good to know that probably the player that LeBron’s second-most-excitied about playing with is interested in not only teaming up with James, but doing it in NYC.
I still think Miami and Chicago have the leg up on the Knicks, but it’s nice to know that we at least have a chance.
Lastly, there’s A’m’a’r’e Stoudemire. Chad Ford reported that an “inside source” said Stat was pretty much gone from the Suns after this season. Amar’e promptly debunked it. However, the good thing is he shot the rumor down with the statement, “It’s still 50-50 and it’s still going to be that way until a decision is made.” Well, even 50/50 sounds good to me. The more options during free agency, the better the chance that we don’t end up empty-handed or doing something dumb just to get something dumb. Actually, I guess that’s only true if there are more good options. Well, after Stoudemire just went off for 42 points in the playoffs, I’d say he definitely qualifies as one of those.