Mavs officially re-sign Dirk

Updated: July 20, 2010, 12:53 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki made his return to the Dallas Mavericks official Monday, signing his name to a contract that will keep him with the only NBA team he's known.

Team officials released no terms of the deal. However, sources close to the talks told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that it is a four-year deal worth $80 million, with a no-trade clause.

The nine-time All-Star agreed to the deal July 4 after a bit of a circuitous route delayed negotiations and left Mavs fans anxious as to whether Nowitzki was looking at other options on the free-agent market. Nowitzki, 32, opted out of the final year of his contract that would have paid him $21.5 million next year, but ultimately his loyalty to the only team he's played for won out.

Nowitzki's deal will pay him $17.3 million next season with pay increases due in each of the next three seasons, topping out at 22.7 million in 2013-14, sources told Stein. The contract contains a no-trade clause that prevents the Mavs from dealing the 7-foot power forward without his consent. Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is the only other player in the NBA with a no-trade clause.

The former MVP could have re-signed for as much as $96.2 million, but he gave the Mavs a hometown discount to help ease the luxury-tax burden on owner Mark Cuban and with the hope that it will enable Cuban to continue to make trades and chase high-profile players to improve the team.

That didn't happen this summer. The Mavs have added three centers so far, including project Ian Mahinmi through free agency, as well as Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca, both of whom were acquired in a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats for Erick Dampier, Eduardo Najera and Matt Carroll.

Nowitzki, Dallas' all-time leading scorer, became the 34th player in NBA history to score 20,000 points last season. Entering his 13th season, Nowitzki holds career averages of 22.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 36.7 minutes in 920 career games with the Mavericks.

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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