Just to clarify something in case people read the full article without clicking the link that provides context to the comment about Dirk testing free agency. Yes, Dirk did technically opt out of his contract but that wasn't necessarily to test the free agent market. As he stated on PTI, he just wanted a promise from Mark Cuban that the team would continue to make moves. Dirk went to Cuban's house and, while there, Mark assured him they were "in this together" and the Mavs would continue to look to improve. Dirk decided to stay and also took a pay cut. Dirk opting out can also be viewed as a move to lighten the luxury tax for Dallas. When Dirk re-signed, he took several million fewer dollars for the 2010-2011 season than he was going to make on the original contract. Other players have done this. Opting out doesn't always mean a player will test the market. Sometimes it involves getting a longer term contract at an earlier date.
So it's not like he really wanted or planned to test free agency. The first and last person Dirk spoke to was Mark Cuban. And he gave Mark a discount.
Edit - Also, opting out had advantages related to the new CBA. If he had simply signed an extension to his existing contract, it would have been vulnerable to changes agreed upon in the new CBA. This was why other players, like Paul Pierce, also opted out of their deals with little, if any, intention of fielding offers from other teams. Pierce also gave Boston a discount and took fewer dollars during 2010-2011 in exchange for a longer term contract.
Last edited by Bill Haverchuck; 06-14-2011 at 09:23 PM.