The Dallas Mavericks set their sights on trading Kristaps Porzingis at last season’s deadline. They knew he was never going to be the second star the team needed to complement Luka Doncic, so the Mavs searched for the right deal that did not involve them giving up a first-round pick to free themselves of KP’s max salary. It led to the surprise trade with the Wizards that brought back Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.
The Mavs acquired two smaller more tradeable contracts, but they had to take on one of the league’s worst values to do so. Spencer Dinwiddie struggled in Washington, but he quickly bounced back in Dallas and should be even better next season in his second year removed from ACL surgery. Bertans has two years and $38 million guaranteed left on his contract. For a sharpshooter that struggles on the defensive end of the floor that is a significant overpay.
Stephen Noh of the Sporting News developed a simple model to determine the best and worst value contracts in the NBA, and Bertans made the list. Here is a look at where he stood, and where he should rank in a list like this.
Dallas Mavericks forward Davis Bertans has 1 of the 5 worst value contracts in the NBA
Bertans ranked as the fifth worst contract in the league for next season as he is projected to return just $4.4 million of value on his $16 million salary. Russell Westbrook topped the list with Tobias Harris, Bradley Beal, and Doug McDermott also ranking ahead of Bertans.
Bertans has an NBA skill. He is a floor-spacing big man that has connected on 39.8 percent of his career 3-point attempts. The 6’10 forward has offensive gravity, and he will come in and hit shots. Bertans struggles on defense and is likely to be limited to ten to 15 minutes per game, which further hampers his value.
$16 million is a significant salary, but it does not compare to Westbrook's $47 million. One could argue Bertans has the second-worst contract after the current Lakers guard. Harris and Beal are impactful players, even if their on-court production does not justify their massive salaries. One could argue Bertans is a net negative because he allows more points on the defensive end than his floor spacing creates on offense.
The Dallas Mavericks will be looking to move off his deal before they owe him $5 million guaranteed to not play in the 2024-2025 season. Can they find a trade that does not involve the team giving up a first-round pick to dump his salary? It is something general manager and president of basketball operations Nico Harrison is already exploring. Stay tuned to see if another trade goes down before training camp begins in late September.