Dirk Nowitzki said Thursday that he’s excited for July 1, the day teams can officially start talking with free agents.

Nowitzki’s first two targets will be superstars Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.

While spending some time on 103.3’s Fitzsimmons & Durrett show [KESN-FM], the Dallas Mavericks forward discussed the importance of landing one of those two players.

“If we don’t get the two monsters then we got to find another way,” Nowitzki said, “through sign-and-trades or other free agents that are out there.”

Nowitzki also made it clear that signing several players to one-year deals, like the Mavericks did last off-season, would not get it done. The 15-year veteran is looking to return to the postseason and adding a star point guard like Paul or a dominant post presence like Howard is probably the best way to get that done.

“It’s time to take a step forward and again be a threat in the playoffs,” Nowitzki said.

Nowitzki, who will turn 35 on June 19, said part of his sales pitch to Paul and Howard will be that because he’s a free agent at the end of next season, Nowitzki is willing to take a significant pay cut to add more talent.