Report: Dirk willing to pay to win

Updated: December 22, 2008, 8:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Many athletes say it's all about winning. Dirk Nowitzki may be willing to put his money where his mouth is.

The Dallas Morning News reported on Monday that the Mavericks star would consider taking less money in 2010 so Dallas could sign a free agent from what looks like a promising class.

Nowitzki
Nowitzki

"Every team is trying to be a player in 2010," Nowitzki said, according to the newspaper. "Every team is trying to clear money under the cap so they can make a move. I'm very fortunate that I've made a lot of money in this league, even though I've never really played for money. I love the sport. I love this organization. Obviously, I want to win. I won the MVP, and individually, there's nothing really left but winning a championship.

"If that means I have to play for less money, it's all possible. It's all open."

Nowitzki can exercise an option after the 2009-10 season and make $21.5 million the following year, or he can become an unrestricted free agent. The Mavericks could then sign him to a new contract that lowers his 2010-11 salary to bring a complementary player on board.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and Joe Johnson headline that season's free-agent class.

"Dirk is Dirk," team owner Mark Cuban said, according to the Morning News. "He's a team player all the way and wants to in. He's a first-class guy and we've grown up together in this organization. So I think we've always tried to be on the same page."