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Cuban Claims Deal With Nowitzki

September 5, 2001

DALLAS (AP) _ Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he agreed with forward Dirk Nowitzki on a six-year contract extension worth an estimated $90 million.

``Yes (we have a verbal agreement), but it’s not something we will rush to do,″ Cuban said Tuesday of his negotiations with Nowitzki.

The forward won’t be back in Dallas until late September as he competes with Germany at the European Championships.

Nowitzki has until Oct. 31 to sign an extension, which would kick in starting with the 2002-2003 NBA season.

The deal will take Cuban’s offseason spending into the range of $250 million, which is almost as much as the $280 million that Cuban spent to buy the team.

In other long-term deals lately, the Mavs also signed Michael Finley, Shawn Bradley, Tim Hardaway and Evan Eschmeyer.

Nowitzki is under contract for the 2001-2002 season at $2.2 million. He will eventually get precisely the same money as three other prominent members of the draft class of 1998 who have agreed to extensions _ Vince Carter of Toronto, Paul Pierce of Boston and Antawn Jamison of Golden State.

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