DALLAS – Dirk Nowitzki opted out of the final year of his contract with the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
Also, Chandler Parsons and Deron Williams have until Wednesday at 11 p.m. to decide if they plan to opt-out of the final year of their contract. And second-year forward Dwight Powell is a restricted free agent.
All four players theoretically could be playing elsewhere next season. That’s a thought which crossed the mind of guard Devin Harris.
"It could be really different,’’ said Harris, the guest speaker at Tuesday’s Mavs Hoop Camp at the Episcopal School of Dallas. "We can go in a lot of different directions.
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"Obviously we still want to be competitive, so I expect us to sign most of those guys back. But we’ve had a lot of new faces since I’ve been here and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.’’
Nowitzki led Dallas in scoring last season with 18.3 points per game, and said earlier this month that he wouldn’t leave the Mavs unless they gutted the team and went into a rebuilding mode. Thus, since owner Mark Cuban said he will never go into a rebuilding mode as long as Nowitzki was still with his franchise, it’s all but official that Nowitzki will re-sign with the Mavs after free agency starts on July 1.
"I don’t think the Big German is going anywhere,’’ Harris said. "Chandler, I talked to him a little bit. I know he’s over in Europe right now -- I’m not really sure where his mind is right now.
"I know Dwight wants to be here, but that free agent game can be crazy sometimes. We just got to start with one and just see who we can bring back and just kind of go from there.’’
Parsons underwent arthroscopic surgery to address an injury to his right medial meniscus on Mar. 25. He endured a slow start to last season after undergoing a hybrid microfracture surgery to correct cartilage in his right knee on May 1, 2015.
Over the last 30 games he played in this past season, Parsons averaged 18.3 points and 5.8 rebounds, and shot 49.2 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from 3-point range.
The Mavs can match any offer Powell receives and retain his services.
Williams, meanwhile, had sports hernia surgery last month and talked to Harris during Nowitzki’s celebrity baseball game back on June 10.
"Obviously he had surgery – he’s just focused on that,’’ Harris said. "I think he’s in Utah right now playing golf and doing what he does in the summer.
"I think he wants to be back.’’
Harris would like to have all four players back. Yet he knows the business of basketball can sometimes be tricky and unforgiving.
"Like I said, in free agency there’s a lot of crazy things that can happen, a lot of unexpected things can happen,’’ Harris said. ‘But I know we want those guys back.
"It’s just a matter of if we can work it out.’’
If the Mavs can hit the reset button and play a full season injury-free, Harris believes that will be a better gauge on what type of potential this unit has. But injuries were at the forefront of a Mavs season that ended 42-40 in the regular season and a five-game loss to Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs.
"We started the year out well,’’ Harris said. "Injuries derailed what we thought we could do, especially later in the season.
"But if we can bring a lot of those guys back I think we definitely can play at a high level. Is (bringing everybody back) probable? Probably not, but we’ll see what happens and what we can work with.’’
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