Mavs sign Nowitzki to three-year, $60M extension

Updated: September 27, 2006, 1:56 PM ET news services

Looking to build on a 60-win season that ended two games shy of an NBA Championship, the Dallas Mavericks signed All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki to a contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

 Dirk Nowitzki

While the team did not disclose terms of the deal,'s Marc Stein reports that it is a three-year extension worth just under $60 million.

Nowitzki, 28, already was signed for the upcoming season and had a $16 million-plus option for 2007-08 under the maximum contract he signed in 2001. The new deal guarantees that season, plus tacks on three more. He'll turn 33 the summer his new contract expires.

"We are glad to keep Dirk in the Mavericks family for many more years," team owner Mark Cuban said. "His contribution to our success on and off the court has been immeasurable."

Nowitzki finished third in MVP voting each of the last two years. His value soared this past postseason, when he led Dallas to the league finals for the first time in franchise history. The Mavs took a 2-0 lead over the Miami Heat, then lost in six games.

Re-signing Nowitzki was among the team's offseason priorities. Next on their wish list is extending forward Josh Howard.

Nowitzki joined the Mavericks on draft day in 1998 as an unknown, raw player from Germany. He's since blossomed into the franchise leader in rebounds and the No. 3 scorer; he's also the postseason leader in scoring, rebounding and games played.

He averaged a career-high 26.6 points per game last season, along with 9.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 blocks. He was selected to the All-NBA first team for the second straight season; no Dallas player had ever made that squad. He's also appeared in a team-record five straight All-Star games.

Nowitzki played for his native Germany this summer at the world championships. The club finished eighth, but he was the tournament's second-leading scorer.

For his eight-year NBA career, Nowitzki averages 22 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.01 steals and 1.1 blocks in 36.6 minutes in 603 games. His postseason numbers jump to 25.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.29 steals and 1.03 blocks in 42.4 minutes over 76 games.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.