Dirk Nowitzki might have been the last player among the superstars eligible to opt-out of his contract that you'd expect to leave his team. But after another disappointing finish by the Mavericks - their third first-round ouster in four years - Nowitzki said the early exit has given him "some time to think about some stuff, think about my options."
While it's still hard to fathom Nowitzki walking away from $21 million (next season's salary) to become a free agent this summer, a person close to the situation in Dallas said there is reason to believe he would. "Dirk owes it to himself to test the market," the source said. "He doesn't need money and it's never been about money with him. The guy wants to win it and that won't happen here. He loves Dallas, but reality has set in."
At 29, Nowitzki might be realizing he might be better suited as a No. 2 star. Mark Cuban has spared no expense - and will continue to do so - in an attempt to surround Nowitzki with name talent. The problem is, it's often not the right talent. And perhaps Nowitzki isn't a guy you surround. He might be a guy you add to someone else and maybe he's starting to realize this, himself.
Maybe he's also seeing the possible opportunities that await other All-Star power forwards, such as Amar'e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer and, of course, Chris Bosh, who, curiously out of nowhere, decided to peck out a message on his Twitter account on Friday night.
"Been wanting to ask," Bosh's message read. "Where should I go next season and why?"
About an hour later he then said, "OK . . . Let me rephrase the question. Should I stay or should I go?"
Bryan Colangelo might as well start considering all offers because Bosh sounds like he's already done being the sole man in Toronto.
There will be serious competition for Bosh's services - the Heat have Wade and the Bulls have Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah - and the Knicks know they can offer David Lee in a sign-and-trade swap. But, of course, Lee would have to be cool with playing in Toronto.
And while elsewhere Bosh would be joining an established player or two, he might have to be the first piece in New York. Should the Knicks land Bosh, it certainly would give players like LeBron James or Joe Johnson a lot more to consider when the Knicks call.
Wade might prefer that Bosh consider Miami. Wade started his campaigning after the Heat were eliminated by the Celtics on Tuesday by saying his heart is in Miami and "If everything works out, I'll be in Miami" but put all the pressure on Pat Riley and the Heat by adding, "I just have to see things being done and accomplished."