- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki has half-joked that his German blood makes him pretty pessimistic by nature, but he's preparing to play the salesman role this summer.
"I think I’ve got a couple of good years left if I stay injury-free," Nowitzki said Thursday after an event to promote AT&T's program to urge against texting and driving. "I feel like this is a great city. We all know that. I’ve said numerous times that this is one of the top five cities out of the 30 in the league to live in, to play in, for the owner, for the franchise. That’s definitely part of it. No state tax is nice. That’s always part of the pitch.
"And [Mark] Cuban and Donnie [Nelson] always found ways to make this franchise better, if it’s with deals or basically pulling deals out of the hat where nobody saw anything coming. I think Mark obviously has to be a big part of the pitch. And next year, I come off the books. We all know that as well. I’ve got only one more year of big money left, and then it’s pretty obvious I’m going to take a pay cut. If that helps us get even more talent in here, then that’ll be great."
At that point, the big German broke into a goofy grin and added, "That’s all I’ve got. … I’m trying, I’m trying."
Nowitzki, who will join Cuban, Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle on the Mavs' recruiting committee, recognizes that it'll be tough to talk Paul or Howard into taking less money to leave L.A. But he believes it's a possibility.
"By now, I’m sure they’re starting to think about, ‘What’s my future looking like?’" Nowitzki said. "So that’s where we swoop in and hopefully get something going, hopefully get a meeting scheduled somewhere in July and hit it out of the ballpark."
1dMarc Stein and Tim MacMahon