Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest
By SHAWN RAMSEY  |  Last updated 9/6/13
The past two offseasons, the Mavericks had to settle for backup plans when it came to attempting to bring big free agents to Dallas like Deron Williams in 2012 and Dwight Howard in 2013. Despite pressure from outside sources that it may be to cut ties with longtime Maverick Dirk Nowitzki, team owner Mark Cuban has said he is against the notion of trading the franchise's most recognizable player. "Dirk defines our culture," Mark Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. "When your best player, no matter how old, is the first one in the gym and the last to leave, and works the hardest and encourages guys the way Dirk does that has a value that goes far beyond what you see on the court." Nowitzki is also on board with staying with the Mavericks to finish out his career, but the German national has also made it clear that he doesn't want to go through another year like Dallas had in the 2012-13 season according to an interview with him back in April. "Now that I already reached my goal (of winning it all), I really want to finish my career in Dallas," Nowitzki told USA TODAY Sports in April. "But saying all that, I don't want another year next year with the same as this year, (with) the frustration and playing for the eight or nine seed. I think we all know that this is a very big summer for us. Donnie (Nelson) knows. Cuban knows. We want to get back to the championship level." Cuban may not want to trade Nowitzki, but the Mavericks owner better find a way to put a competitive team on the court, or his star player may want to find his own way out next summer when he is a free agent.
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