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NBA: Mavs, Nowitzki reach deal

DALLAS (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki has a deal with the Dallas Mavericks that sets him up to join Kobe Bryant as the only players to spend 20 seasons with one NBA franchise.

Nowitzki signed a two-year, $10 million contract Thursday that carries a team option in the second season. A person with knowledge of the deal contract provided specifics on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t release the terms.

The agreement is similar to the one the Mavs and Nowitzki reached last year, although for significantly less money. Last year’s contract was for two years and $50 million, and the club declined its option before free agency opened this year.

The 39-year-old Nowitzki is no longer the primary option for the Mavericks, so a $5 million deal is more in line with his role on a roster that has become significantly younger since the start of last season. The $25 million salary from a year ago was as much about Dallas paying Nowitzki for his loyalty, which included taking less money to help acquire free agents through the years.

Bryant retired following the 2015-16 season, his 20th with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the fifth player to spend at least 20 years in the NBA.

Nowitzki doesn’t seem to have ruled out playing past the coming season. At the NBA awards show last week, he hinted as much during his acceptance speech for the teammate of the year award.

Carter reportedly headed to Kings
Meantime, free agent Vince Carter, at 40 the NBA’s oldest active player, agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, US media reported.

The eight-time All-Star averaged 8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 24.6 minutes per game for the Memphis Grizzlies last season and said in April he hoped to extend his 19-year career after becoming a free agent.

Carter helped the Grizzlies reach the playoffs, and his physical skills – including his spectacular dunking ability – were on display in their first-round series loss to the San Antonio Spurs, when he became the oldest player to start a playoff game since Dikembe Mutombo for Houston in 2008.

Carter, the fifth pick in the 1998 draft, was the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year with the Toronto Raptors.

He subsequently played for the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis.

For his career, Carter is averaging 18.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists and his 24,555 career points are 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.