This isn't exactly a surprise, but Dirk Nowitzki will officially be a part of the 2010 free agent class, at least technically. ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that Dirk has filed the necessary paperwork to become an unrestricted free agent.
However, the move is expected to be a mere formality, since the Mavericks are reportedly working on a new contract that'll keep Dirk in Dallas. Via Stein:
The move has been expected since an ESPN.com report in mid-May that Nowitzki planned to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. But Mavericks officials have remained confident that they will secure a verbal commitment from Nowitzki on a new four-year deal early in free agency.
A four-year deal could pay Nowitzki up to $96 million. He cannot receive a longer contract because of an NBA rule that prevents teams from giving out maximum long-term contracts to players who will be at least 36 years old during the duration of their new contract. Nowitzki is currently 32 - hence, the four-year offer.
Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson will reportedly travel to Germany to formally present the offer at the start of free agency, according to the Associated Press.