It's pretty ironic that the Mavericks and Spurs both missed the playoffs despite Dallas having a top-five player and a six-time all-star. Needless to say, there will be some offseason movement for Dallas, and one possible change might see them get rid of their worst contract to increase roster flexibility.
The proposed trade is straightforward: Dallas saves $22M in guaranteed salary by dealing Davis Bertans and a 2026 top-ten protected first-round pick to the Spurs in exchange for a late 2024 second-rounder. While they could theoretically hold on to Bertans and his contract to try and make a bigger deal, that is harder under the new CBA.
Assuming they re-sign Kyrie Irving to a max contract and retain Christian Wood, the new CBA would prohibit them from making deals that take back more salary than they send out, limiting trade options. Moving another first-rounder to get off Bertans' contract might not be the Mavs' first choice. Still, it is an option that would save the team significant money and allow them to drop far enough below the luxury tax to use their taxpayer mid-level exception to sign players.
The Mavs are in win-now mode, after all, and Bertans doesn't help them win-now, plus his contract is one of the worst in the NBA. From San Antonio's perspective, they could keep Bertans around until next year's trade deadline and then use his big expiring contract to take back longer deals in exchange for more assets.
Or, they could waive him, even though San Antonio owes him about $5M during the 2024–25 season. The Spurs wouldn't be guaranteed to receive that 2026 pick if the Mavericks don't turn things around, but if they can, that pick could convey, and San Antonio may pick up yet another first-round selection.