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Dirk Nowitzki ‘thrilled’ to reunite with Tyson Chandler, will participate in recruiting Carmelo Anthony to Dallas

Jun 26, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony

NEW YORK — Dirk Nowitzki was recently of the belief that it wasn’t realistic to expect Carmelo Anthony to leave the New York Knicks and sign in Dallas as a free agent.

With Anthony already having opted out of his deal, however, and with the Mavericks completing a trade that brings Tyson Chandler back to town, those odds may have changed.

Speaking before Steve Nash‘s charity soccer game in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday, Nowitzki said he’d participate in the recruitment of Anthony, who is expected to have a formal meeting with Dallas at some point in the process.

“For sure,” Nowitzki said, when asked if he’d like to speak with Anthony. “I mean, if Dallas is on his radar, he’s one of the best scorers we have in this league. He can score with the best of them. So if that’s really a possibility, then we’d love to have him.”

But in his traditionally humorous style, he admitted his participation might not ultimately have much of an effect on Anthony’s decision.

“I was active [in recruiting] the last couple of years, but it didn’t do anything,” Nowitzki said. “I was active with [Deron Williams], he stayed [in Brooklyn]. I flew to L.A. last year to meet with [Dwight Howard], and he went to Houston. So I guess they don’t like me much.”

Adding Chandler to the mix might change some free agent perceptions about Dallas as a destination capable of winning immediately, but that remains to be seen. Nowitzki wouldn’t talk too much about the trade that had just been completed, because he said he hadn’t been officially filled in on the details. The idea of bringing back a former teammate that contributed to winning the lone title in Nowitzki’s career, though, was certainly exciting.

“He helped me get the championship,” Nowitzki said. “We had great chemistry together, and if it’s true I’ll be more than thrilled.”

Nowitzki himself is a free agent this summer, but it’s long been widely known that he’ll re-up in Dallas. He reiterated that he wouldn’t even consider taking a free agent tour this summer to see about playing anywhere else.

“I’ve been in Dallas so long it wouldn’t even feel right to go somewhere else, wear a different jersey, live somewhere else,” Nowitzki said. “I never saw that happening in 2010 the last time I was a free agent, and I’m not going to see it now. I think [Mark Cuban] and I are going to find a deal that’s acceptable for both sides, and then hopefully get better again. I like what we did last summer, and now we’ve got to build on it.”

The topic of LeBron James came up, of course, because though his leaving Miami seems to be unlikely, he did opt out of his contract and is now an unrestricted free agent. Nowitzki realizes it’s beyond a long shot to lure James, but knows that every team must try when the game’s best player technically becomes available.

“If he’s out there and we’ve got cap room, I guess all the teams have got to try,” Nowitzki said of James. “He’s the best player in the league we’ve got right now and if he’s a free agent — it obviously doesn’t happen very often when the best player in the league’s a free agent — then you’ve obviously got to go out and try. I’m not sure what our chances are, but you’ve at least got to try.”

And if Nowitzki were to get the opportunity to pitch LeBron on coming to Dallas, what would he say?

“You can have the keys to the city,” he said. “It’s all yours.”

  1. jsala02 - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    If I were Melo, I would rather be in Chicago or Houston than Dallas.

    • doctorfootball - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      If I’m Melo, I’m going to Chicago and staying out of the west if at all possible

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      If I were Chicago, I’d rather Melo be in Houston, Dallas or anywhere else…

      • cruzan80 - Jun 26, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        But your not…just a your typical hater.

        The Bulls will be 1st in line at Melo’s front door come July 1st no matter how many hating comments & bad jokes about the mans wife you post on here.

        Get over it.

    • rohlo - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      houston and chicago are much better spots for melo or lebron…they are much younger too with more staying power..the mavs are an old team in terms of players ages and where thye are in their careers!

  2. marcusfitzhugh - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    It would be funny if Dallas offered LBJ and Melo max deals and the first one to take it gets the cash. Ditto for Houston and LA. Tell them to step up or step off. I think those are the only desireable teams that have the money to say that right now- without trying to get some other team to take on garbage.

  3. kingperk123 - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    I think Dirk can do it just sell it well and have Mr. Cuban give melo a better deal than 4 years 95 mill then Huston then the choice should be easy

  4. rohlo - Jun 26, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    first off picking up former players he played with on an awful knicks team isnt the way to lure carmelo to your team since he played with those guys in nyc…felton is garbage! dirk is great and all and mavs have some older,but decent pieces.i just think melo or LBJ would rather play on a team with a much younger nucleus that is already at a high level and houston and chicago fit those molds … rememebr this isnt 2011 and tyson coming back doesnt make them title contenders.chandler really isnt a tier 1 star either.he is a tier 2-3 more complimentary imo..the rockets will end up with a 3rd star,but who? if they dont get a lbj,melo,or love it could be rondo! boston if they dotn get love is said to be tradign rondo! there is even a report out there on espn new york that showed if hosuton signed lebron they would do a sign and trade with the knicks for carmelo and then send harden to the knicks giving houston lebron,melo to go with howard and parsons after they match any offer parsons gets as a restricted FA.everybody can dismiss the rockets if they like,but their front office is pretty darn good with the offseason shuffling thing now and moving things to get top tier players.

  5. mazblast - Jun 26, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Dirk is a quality guy. He’s not Tim Duncan in terms of sacrificing all kinds of money to help the team, but he doesn’t play the “I’m the #1 guy here, I won’t settle for less than max money” game, either.

    Getting Chandler back will toughen the interior defense, and on offense he never demands the ball (to put it mildly). This is important when you’re trying to recruit a shot-chucker like Anthony. I’m not saying Felton is worth a handful of beans, but at least Carmelo knows him, for better or worse.

    Dallas may not be the favorite to get Carmelo, even if he does leave the Knicks, but at least this deal makes the Mavs a more attractive option for him.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 26, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      He’s not Tim Duncan in terms of sacrificing all kinds of money to help the team, but he doesn’t play the “I’m the #1 guy here, I won’t settle for less than max money” game, either.

      Uh, Timmy had to WAIT until his contract was up to do a team friendly deal…

      Now that Dirk’s deal is done, he IS going to do a team friendly deal too…

      Timmy has made $224.7 million in his career with the Spurs in on court salary alone… That is for 17 yrs and it includes two discounted years so far. Aver salary over the 17 yrs is $13.22 million.

      Dirk has made $204 million in 16 yrs with the Mavs for an average of $12.75 million a year and he has NOT yet taken his lower team friendly deal. Once he does that, his average will go down.

      Now, I like, root and respect Duncan greatly, but it isn’t like Dirk has held the Mavs hostage and taken all he could get.

      I think when they’re both done, Timmy will have made more and more per season overall than Dirk does as the numbers are pretty much set after 17 and 16 seasons played respectively.

      By the numbers, Dirk has played for LESS than Duncan. Nothing wrong with that as Duncan is better. Dirk is in my top 20 but Timmy is around 6 to 10 all time…

  6. wlubake - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    Dallas offers LeBron and Carmelo things that Chicago and Houston don’t. Namely, they play solid team ball with a team comprised of pieces thoughtfully put together to maximize their abilities on both sides of the court. Carlisle is a brilliant coach that consistently over-performs expectations.

    Also, I doubt Felton is on that roster for long. If he is, it is as a backup.

  7. justinnelson71 - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    I like Dirk. Texas is better the Illinois any day of the week. Melo would be good in Dallas. Of course is like to see Melo with Golden State though.

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