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Mavericks get busy: start extension talks with Nowitzki, pick up Barea option

The Dallas Mavericks have some big decisions to make this offseason, some things they should take their time and thing about. But they’ve wasted no time getting started on the things they know they want to do.

Dallas has already started negotiations to extend Dirk Nowitzki’s contract, and they will pick up the option on JJ Barea. That’s what Mark Cuban told the Dallas Morning News, and since he owns the team and all he probably is right.

Owner Mark Cuban said Monday that the team has opened discussions with the face of the franchise about locking him up. Nowitzki has the option of terminating the final year on his contract if he does so before July 1.

Cuban added that the Mavericks are going to pick up their team option for backup guard J.J. Barea for the 2010-11 season.

The most Dallas could offer Nowitzki is a three-year extension to his existing deal, for about $75 million. You can bet the discussion and offer will be in that ballpark.

The Mavericks will have a crowded point guard spot next year -- Jason Kidd is the starter but he is not young, Rodrigue Beaubois is young and has demanding more run with his play.

Barea has played solidly in the backup role for the Mavericks, and at $1.8 million is very affordable, so picking up his option was a simple decision. How Rick Carlisle is going to sort out the minutes next year will not be so simple.