Mavs decline Nowitzki’s option, will re-sign him in July

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is looking to return from ankle surgery in April.

In a mutual decision, the Dallas Mavericks declined Dirk Nowitzki‘s 2018-19 player option worth $5 million, making him a unrestricted free agent — according to a report from the New York Times.

The move maximizes the Mavs’ financial flexibility this summer. Nowitzki will sign a new contract with the team once free agency starts July 1.

In 77 games this past season, Nowitzki averaged 12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists, shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from 3-point range.

Next year will be Nowitzki’s 21st season with the Mavs, setting an NBA record for the years a player has been with a single team.

Nowitzki underwent ankle surgery in April.

The Mavs are in hot pursuit of DeAndre Jordan, who opted out of his deal with the Los Angeles Clippers Friday.