The Dallas Mavericks can create $31 million of cap space come July 1, and already committed to being a "get” in Summer Shopping is Dirk Nowitzki.
But he needs a superstar running mate and an heir. And he’s endorsing the idea of Carmelo Anthony being that guy.
"If Carmelo would really love to come here,” Dirk says, "we’d love to have him.”
Nowitzki, speaking to "Ben & Skin” on 105.3 The Fan, obviously has some awareness of reports that ‘Melo might opt-out of his deal with the Knicks to explore free agency, and that Dallas might be on his wishlist. (The longshot nature of all this is detailed here. Andthe nuts and bolts of how Anthony could instead join LeBron in Miami is broken down here.)
But Dirk clearly has no doubts about a Nowitzki/Anthony "fit.”
"Listen, I think I’e showed over my 16 years that I can play with anybody,” The UberMan says. "The only tough season I think we’ve had is when we had (Antawn) Jamison and Antoine Walker and myself who are all three kind of the same 4-men, but other than that I think I’ve shown over my career that I can play with anybody. I’ll adjust, whether I have to get out of the way or go to the corner more, post up, pass â I’ll do whatever, really, that needs to be done out there to win or for this franchise to be a winner.”
That "do-anything” approach includes taking a massive hometown discount when Nowitzki re-ups with the Mavs. The Mavs have the cap-space issue solved; it’s the closing of deals with superstars that hasn’t happened yet.
"Cap space, obviously, hasn’t treated us nicely since the lockout year when we decided to go for cap space and didn’t really get the guys that we wanted,” Dirk says. "But that’s the risk you take if you have cap space. The free agent might decide to go elsewhere and that’s what happened so far. But we’re going to keep getting after it.
"There’s a lot of money free under the cap. Donnie (Nelson) and Mark (Cuban) are always trying to make this organization better and we had a better year this year than we did the year before. I think playoffs were big again and we competed and it was great. But we want to get better so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens this summer."
And if it’s not Carmelo Anthony?
"Then,” Dirk says, "we’re looking at some other options to make this franchise better and be a winner and be in the playoffs every year again. So whoever comes, whoever does decide to play with us, we’re more excited to have them."