Nowitzki enters 20th year with Mavs; Carter, Kings ink pact

Nowitzki enters 20th year with Mavs; Carter, Kings ink pact

Nowitzki enters 20th year with Mavs; Carter, Kings ink pact

Nowitzki enters 20th year with Mavs; Carter, Kings ink pact

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LOS ANGELES—Dirk Nowitzki will become only the second player to spend 20 NBA seasons with the same team after inking a new deal with the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.

A statement from the Texas franchise said Nowitzki will join retired Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant as the only other member of the 20-season club when he returns for the 2017-2018 campaign.

US media reports earlier Thursday said Nowitzki had signed a two-year $10 million contract which would see him play on for two more seasons.

ESPN reported that the Mavs had agreed the deal after declining to take up a $25 million team option on Nowitzki, widely regarded as the team’s greatest ever player.

Terms of the deal, including the length of Nowitzki’s contract, were not revealed on Thursday.

There was little doubt that Nowitzki, 39, would remain in Dallas after indicating in April he wanted to stay on for at least one more season.

Nowitzki averaged 14.2 points in 54 games last season, his lowest average since his rookie season of 1998-99 when he contributed 8.2 per game.

Nowitzki has appeared in a franchise-record 13 NBA All-Star Games, and earned 12 consecutive All-NBA Team selections (2000-12). He was named Most Valuable Player of the 2006-07 season and voted MVP of the 2011 NBA Finals. 

Nowitzki became only the sixth player in NBA history to reach the 30,000-point mark this year when he broke the barrier in March.

The power forward has scored 30,260 points, making the top foreign scorer in the NBA of all-time. The Mavericks finished outside the playoff places in 11th spot this season with a 33-49 record

Meanwhile, free agent Vince Carter, at 40 the NBA’s oldest active player, agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, US media reported.

The eight-time All-Star averaged 8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 24.6 minutes per game for the Memphis Grizzlies last season and said in April he hoped to extend his 19-year career after becoming a free agent.

Carter helped the Grizzlies reach the playoffs, and his physical skills —including his spectacular dunking ability—were on display in their first-round series loss to the San Antonio Spurs, when he became the oldest player to start a playoff game since Dikembe Mutombo for Houston in 2008. 

Carter, the fifth pick in the 1998 draft, was the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year with the Toronto Raptors.

He subsequently played for the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis.

For his career, Carter is averaging 18.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists and his 24,555 career points are 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.