The Dallas Mavericks will decline Dirk Nowitzki's $25 million contract option for the 2017-18 season but plan to re-sign him to a new deal next month, according to multiple reports.
Nowitzki, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer who has played all 19 of his NBA seasons in Dallas, just completed the first season of his two-year, $50 million contract signed last July. But his production dipped as he dealt with injuries, and the Mavericks posted a 33-49 record — the franchise's worst mark since Nowitzki was a rookie.
Restructuring Nowitzki's contract will give Dallas more flexibility to improve the roster this offseason.
"It's an important summer for this franchise, for sure, to head back in the right direction, if you want to say, starting with the draft," Nowitzki told the Associated Press after the season. "And then free agency is important, too. So, yeah, this is a big summer, but we tend to stand here the last few years and always say it's a big summer for the franchise."
Nowitzki, 39, has said he intends to play his 20th season in Dallas, which would tie him with Kobe Bryant as the only players in NBA history to spend 20 seasons with one team.
ESPN first reported the negotiations.