The Dallas Mavericks held onto the tenth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery. It was a nervous night as they had to send their pick to the Knicks if it fell outside the top ten. With the lottery selection secured, Dallas now has to figure out how to maximize that asset.
The Mavs are rumored to be shopping the pick. They need multiple upgrades to get back into contention, including a starting center and a defensive-minded wing. Could Dallas turn pick ten into two or three role players? That could be the ideal scenario.
The Athletic’s John Hollinger shared that the pick will (subscription required) “likely be paired with either or both of Davis Bertans and JaVale McGee to bring in some immediate help”. Is that the route Dallas will go?
Could the Dallas Mavericks use the 10th pick to get off one of the worst contracts in the NBA?
Sharpshooting forward Davis Bertans signed a five-year $80 million contract in 2020 that quickly became one of the worst deals in the NBA. The Mavericks acquired him in the Kristaps Porzingis trade as they needed Bertans to pair with Spencer Dinwiddie to match KP’s max salary.
Since arriving in Dallas, Bertans has averaged 4.8 points and 1.6 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game over 67 contests. Not great for someone who makes $17 million next season. He was the Mavericks' fourth-highest-paid player last season, despite finishing 13th in minutes played and 16th in minutes per game.
Bertans becomes more tradeable this offseason because he is nearly on an expiring deal. He has $5 million guaranteed for the 2024-2025 season, but a rebuilding team can just cut him and move on after paying that.
Could the Dallas Mavericks package one or both of their oversized contracts with pick ten and still acquire a meaningful role player in return? Yes. They must match salaries anyways because Dallas is over the cap, so dumping Bertans or JaVale McGee is the perfect plan for the Mavs. Can they get someone to bite? Do not rule it out.
The Mavericks will be active and aggressive in reshaping their roster this summer. They have to get back into contention if they want to keep Luka Doncic happy, and that should be all that matters to the franchise. Can they upgrade their roster enough to make it a reality? Stay tuned to find out.