A source confirmed that an extension now is unlikely and that if the face of the franchise is to stay in Dallas, it will happen via a new contract in free agency.
Nowitzki said last month that he would exercise his early termination option and explore free agency. It's the first time he'll be free on the open market.
Nowitzki has openly discussed the possibility of key free agents meeting to put together a map of the best destinations for the players and the league, so news that he will follow through and entertain other offers shouldn't be a big surprise.
Free agency begins Wednesday night at 12:01 A.M. Eastern Time, and players can sign contracts beginning July 8. That week could be a stressful one for Mavericks fans.