- Dallas Mavericks icon Dirk Nowitzki plans to extend his remarkable NBA career into a 20th season at the age of 39. Nowitzki, who signed a two-year contract last year, told ESPN he planned to honor the deal and play until just shy of his 40th birthday, despite an injury-disrupted 2016-2017 campaign. The towering German star, the 2007 NBA Most Valuable Player and 2011 NBA Finals MVP, is under contract to earn $25 million by playing next season. Asked if he expected to return next year, Nowitzki said: "I think so ... unless something drastic changes here in the next few weeks or the last few weeks of the season, which I don't anticipate. I said last summer: I signed a two-year deal (and) that obviously meant I want to play for two more. I want to complete that deal."