Dirk Nowitzki was a free agent this summer, but in contract status terms only. He was never going to leave Dallas, having expressed numerous times to the media how he would be willing to take less to allow the team more room to pursue free agents such as Carmelo Anthony. True to his word, according to reports, the Mavs have re-signed their franchise player to a very team friendly three-year, $30 million deal. Nowitzki is coming off a contract that paid him over $20 million last season, so this definitely gives the Mavericks the flexibility they need to build about Dirk. Even at age 35, Dirk was tremendous last season, averaging 21.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from the field. The Mavs are quietly building a case for themselves as an interesting team in the West next season, especially after an encouraging seven-game battle with the eventual champion Spurs in the first round, and the recent re-acquisition of center Tyson Chandler. Depending on what moves they are able to pull off next, they're definitely a team to keep an eye on. Dirk's new contract has definitely made it much easier for the Mavs to get active in the market and put themselves into any potential bidding wars. Follow me on Twitter @steven_lebron