Mavericks make Nowitzki an offer

Updated: July 3, 2010, 1:47 AM ET
By Jeff Caplan and Marc Stein | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson presented an offer to Dirk Nowitzki's adviser, Holger Geschwindner, as their long-standing talks resumed Friday morning and could wrap up with Saturday's scheduled meeting.

The Mavericks were expected to present Nowitzki with the maximum offer. The most he can re-sign for is four years and $96 million.

The meeting took place at Nelson's residence in South Dallas. Geschwindner then headed to the Mavericks' offices at American Airlines Center. Sources with knowledge of the meetings told ESPNDallas.com that Geschwindner met with team owner Mark Cuban at the Mavericks' offices. Nowitzki and Cuban were not at the initial meeting and Nelson said he is not sure if they will be present for Saturday's session.

"It was a very productive meeting. Everything seems to be progressing nicely," Nelson said. "We're hoping that tomorrow we'll be able to get some resolution."

It was a circuitous route to get to this point after two days of travel changes that saw Nelson cancel a trip to Germany at the last minute Wednesday, followed by two more travel changes by Nowitzki. But Nowitzki and Geschwindner finally arrived Thursday night in Dallas.

Nowitzki became a free agent for the first time in his 12-year career late Wednesday night. The 2007 MVP opted out of the final year of his contract.

A new deal affords a fourth year, a no-trade clause and protection against potential salary rollbacks after the league's current collective bargaining agreement expires after next season.

The Mavs are hoping Nowitzki will quickly agree in principle so they can begin a strong sign-and-trade push for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the top free agents on the market. Nowitzki can listen to overtures from other teams, but it is believed none is forthcoming.

Nelson said he's hoping Nowitzki accepts soon, but he's most concerned with him simply accepting.

"That's his decision," Nelson said. "Only he knows the timing. ... Stay tuned."

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag. Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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