The Dallas Mavericks and face of the franchise Dirk Nowitzki have finalized their expected new deal with another bump in pay that sets up the star forward to earn $50 million over the next two seasons and play until age 40, league sources told ESPN.
Sources said Friday that the Mavericks have tacked an additional $10 million onto the original two-year, $40 million contract that the sides, as ESPN first reported, agreed to earlier this month.
The new pact, sources say, calls for Nowitzki to earn $25 million in each of the next two seasons, though he has said repeatedly that he will decide about playing beyond 2016-17 after gauging how he feels at season's end.
The second year of the contract, sources say, is fully guaranteed for $5 million of the $25 million at the Mavericks' option, although any decision about Nowitzki's playing future is expected to be made in conjunction with owner Mark Cuban, given the long-standing and close bond the two share.
"Dirk gets to do what Dirk wants," Cuban said in June during a public appearance. "Period. End of story. ... Dirk's done so much for this franchise, he's earned that opportunity."
The significant spike in pay comes after the future Hall of Famer played on an ultra-steep discount for the past two seasons in which he earned $8 million-plus annually.
Nowitzki's previous contract was a three-year, $25 million deal, which represented a hometown discount intended to provide the Mavericks with the salary-cap flexibility needed to construct a contender during his twilight years. The Mavs, however, missed on multiple free-agent targets and have failed to advance past the first round since their 2011 title run, although Nowitzki led them in scoring again this past season.
Dallas rallied from two early disappointments in free agency this summer and used its substantial salary-cap space to make some promising pickups. After being spurned by Miami's Hassan Whiteside and Memphis' Mike Conley, Dallas capitalized on the sudden availability of Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut in Golden State -- in the wake of the Warriors' success in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes -- to agree on a four-year, $94.4 million max deal to sign Barnes and a trade to acquire Bogut.
In his 18-year career, Nowitzki has won an MVP award in both the regular season (2007) and NBA Finals (2011) to go with his 13 All-Star selections. With 29,491 career points, Nowitzki is also on pace to surpass Wilt Chamberlain and move into the top five on the league's all-time scoring list during the 2017-18 season, as long as he avoids significant injury.
Nowitzki has acknowledged in the past that his decision to stay in Dallas would be much more difficult if the Mavs hadn't broken through to win their first title in 2011. If he ends up playing two more seasons, Nowitzki would join Kobe Bryant as the only players in league history to spend an entire two-decade career with a single franchise.