With a 41.1 percent mark from the three-point line for his career, Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans has established himself as one of the best shooters in the NBA. As a result, he’s set to be one of the hottest commodities on the market for the impending free agency, but where might the Latvian marksman land?
In this piece, we’ll take a look at three teams that should consider a move for Bertans. Before we dive in, though, it’s worth noting that the Wizards will likely be looking to find a way to retain their sharpshooter. However, they are a team that has $103 million committed to player contracts and another $70.3 million in cap holds, according to Spotrac. Something would have to give for Davis Bertans to remain with Washington, as he’ll be looking for a substantial deal.
Straight away, the young Hawks look like a solid fit for Davis Bertans, who opted to sit out for the restart of the 2019-20 season in Florida to prepare for his free agency. This was likely a wise decision, as the 27-year-old suffered ACL tears in his right knee in two separate years while playing overseas (2013 and 2015). The first of these ACL tears occurred in the Serbian league and sidelined him for nine months. The second ruled him out for six to eight months.
Though he’s dealt with injuries in the past, Bertans appears to be back in full effect. For this reason, the Hawks should consider a move for him. In theory, his shooting prowess would be a fine addition to Trae Young’s drive-and-kick style of play.
Unfortunately, the Hawks finished the 2019-20 campaign with the second-worst mark in the Eastern Conference (20-47). This left the team well out of playoff contention, but the future looks bright in The Peach State. Be it as a starter or reserve, Bertans could help Atlanta get over the proverbial hump. The only question is: would he be interested in their offer?
With stars like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker, the Celtics are a team that is loaded with talent. If Davis Bertans is looking for an organization that will be competing in the postseason, he need look no further.
Boston finished the regular season with a 48-24 record, which earned the team a No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. After sweeping the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round and dispatching the Toronto Raptors in a seven-game semifinals series, the Celtics fell to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, 4-2. Injuries played a role in Boston’s demise, including those to Walker and Gordon Hayward.
Speaking of Hayward, he has a player option with the Celtics for next season worth a little over $34 million. Most experts believe he’ll be looking to pick it up, but there are also reports indicating that other teams, including the Indiana Pacers, might be interested in his services. Bertans could be a nice replacement for Hayward — if he chooses to play elsewhere.
The Celtics could use some help on the bench, but they’re in a bit of a financial pinch. Tatum is eligible for an extension this offseason, and the team already has a $141.4 million payroll slated for 2020-21.
That’s right. Our last pick is the team that Bertans is currently playing for.
The Wizards (25-47 and 9th in the East last season) are said to be intent on re-signing Bertans, and rightfully so. In fact, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated recently noted that Washington has already received offers of multiple first-round picks for Davis, yet he remains a priority on their offseason to-do list.
If the Wizards are indeed set on re-signing Bertans, they’ll likely have to outbid other teams that are interested in his services. Some of these teams will have a lot of money to spend, which could put Washington in a difficult position. The Hawks, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns are already on his trail, according to HoopsHype.
The Wizards are wise to view Davis Bertans as an important asset. In his 54 outings last season, he turned in averages of 15.4 points on 43.4 percent shooting from the field, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists. It was his 42.4 percent mark from beyond the arc that has teams clamoring, however.
Whatever the cap ends up being, the Wizards will be able to exceed it with a new contract for Bertans, as they hold his Bird Rights. But they also plan to avoid the luxury tax and would have to fit Bertans in around the substantial money already allocated for John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Ah, the decisions that will need to be made. For now, we’ll have to wait and see where Davis Bertans ends up playing in the ensuing campaign. The team that gets him will have a truly dangerous threat from the perimeter.