Does Dirk really want Shaq?

Dirk Nowitzki had nice things to say about Shaquille O'Neal when the German media asked about the best big man of last generation.

"On the basis of his experience, he would be a great addition to our team," Dirk said, according to a translation posted on DallasBasketball.com. "He is still a dominant center, and opens space for others."

There's at least a decent chance that Dirk was just offering empty praise when asked about a surefire Hall of Famer in the twilight of his career.

Is Dirk saying similar things to Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson? That's what matters.

Based on the conversations I've had in recent weeks, Dirk would be in the minority among influential Mavs types if he really does want Shaq. The feeling is that a glacier-slow big man with major durability issues and a dominant ego would be more trouble than he's worth.

If that stance has changed, it smacks of a panic move.