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To say the least, it’s a team-friendly deal — chump change by today’s NBA standards. “Mark and I obviously have a close, close relationship,” Nowitzki said from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he is participating in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program and will play in NBA Africa Game 2017 on Saturday. “Last year, he really, really took care of me as we all know. That was well-documented.
He ended up with a $50 million deal after Mavs owner Mark Cuban insisted on paying the longtime face of the franchise more, although only $5 million is guaranteed in the second season. “He’s been incredibly loyal to me and I’ve shown obviously that I’ve wanted to be here last couple years,” said Nowitzki, who would join Kobe Bryant as the only players to NBA history to play 20 seasons with only one franchise if he completes the contract. “And I think he wanted to reward me in a way. It makes me obviously feel great and feel wanted. I’m happy that I can finish my career here in Dallas, where I always wanted to be, and hopefully finish strong the last couple of years.”
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May 20, 2018 | 6:58 pm EDT Update
If Luka Doncic isn’t taken No. 1 overall then there’s a chance he’ll fall a few picks. According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Kings and Hawks, owners of the No. 2 and 3 overall picks respectively, are expected to target American frontcourt players.
In the official press conference after winning the EuroLeague title and the MVP award with Real Madrid, Doncic was asked if he is about to continue the legacy of ex-Yugoslavian players in the NBA. “I will decide soon, but now I am focused on celebrating”, he said with a smile, avoiding the question. “When the time comes about the NBA I will decide”.
As the Jazz roster languishes in the very beginning of construction for next season, Sefolosha probably holds the most wide-ranging of situations. Depending on moves made over the summer, one can make a reasonable argument for him being Utah’s starting power forward when training camp starts. There’s a reasonable scenario where Sefolosha isn’t brought back at all.
“There’s definitely a little uncertainty,” Sefolosha said. “Nothing is written in stone. Obviously, the injury (Sefolosha missed the second half of the season after knee surgery following an MCL injury) is something that I couldn’t control. But I would love to come back and have a full season. Utah is a fit for me.”
Sources tell The Tribune that the Jazz value Sefolosha’s locker room presence and leadership off the floor. Indeed, Sefolosha was able to make an instant impact on the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale.