OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Less than 48 hours after being knocked off their throne as NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors appear to be already looking toward next season and aggressively weighing their free agent options.
The San Jose Mercury News is reporting the team will make a bid to sign veteran free agent forward Dirk Nowitzki -- a 38-year-old former All-Star who has spent his entire 18-year career with the Dallas Mavericks.
The report seems further reinforce a commonly held belief that team has grown tired of the inconsistent play of starting forward Harrison Barnes, who finished the last three games of the NBA Finals by converting on a woeful 5 of his last 32 shot attempts.
Barnes turned down a four-year, $64 million contract offer from the Warriors in September and is an unrestricted free agent.
In Nowitzki, the Warriors would get a rangy player who could punish opponents with his mid-range jump shot as they concentrate on stopping the 3-point shooting of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
The team also is setting its sites on free agent superstar Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but it they can't land him Nowitzki who be a nice short-term alternative.
Nowitzki has opted out of the final year of his contract with the Mavericks, but has publicly said he would like to negotiate a new deal with the team.
By jettisoning both Barnes and free agent backup center Festus Ezeli the Warriors would have cap space wiggle room to sign either player.
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