The Los Angeles Lakers never shy away from shooting for the stars. Their entire off-season was based on that idea. They targeted LeBron James, offering a mac contract, and failed. The same applied to Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, both offered max contracts, both turning down the deal. Mitch Kupchak even tried to sway free agent power forward Dirk Nowitkzi with a max contract according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
Story going online now detailing how Rockets AND Lakers called w/max offers for Nowitzki, but he rebuffed all outside interest to stay w/DAL
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 15, 2014
Of course, Dirk denied the Lakers’ max contract, re-signing with the Dallas Mavericks on an extremely valuable deal of $25 million over the next three years, $5 million shorter than the deal Nowitzki would reportedly sign earlier this summer.
It’s not often you see stars of Nowitzki’s caliber take a cut such as this. We saw that with Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant who signed a $40 million-plus deal prior to his return from a knee injury. Where we do often see it is in San Antonio where Gregg Popovich has somehow convinced the trio of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan to play under market value these last five years, allowing the Spurs to retain their core plus key additions in Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, and Boris Diaw.
The Lakers–and Houston–never had a chance of signing Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki made it known prior to the off-season that Dallas was where he was at, even for a discount allowing the team to fill in holes. Besides, Nowitzki with the Mavericks have a better chance a contending than Nowitzki with the Lakers does.
But don’t worry Laker fans. Nick Young, Jordan Hill, and Jeremy Lin will save the day.