Dirk Nowitzki talks and acts like he's under contract with the Dallas Mavericks even when he's not.

So while the signing of his fifth and possibly final deal with Dallas is a foregone conclusion early next month, the shape of things around the 36-year-old Nowitzki is the biggest question for the Mavericks starting with the NBA draft Thursday night.

The Mavericks don't figure to alter their roster significantly on draft night because they go in without a first-round pick. Their top choice is at No. 34, followed by their last pick at No. 51.