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Davis Bertans’ real reason for sitting out NBA restart, revealed

Davis Bertans, Wizards

Washington Wizards sharpshooter Davis Bertans will not participate in the NBA’s restarted season in Orlando as a preventative measure before hitting unrestricted free agency.

Bertans is in line for a lucrative deal after a breakout 2019-20 season in which he averaged 15.4 points per game on 42.4 percent 3-point shooting — rendering him a candidate for the Most Improved Player of the Year award. Moreover, with the Wizards (24-40) trailing the Orlando Magic by 5.5 games for the final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, the Latvian star is prioritizing his future over a long-shot playoff push.

According to Bertans’ agent, Arturs Kalnitis, the forward made a “last-minute decision to sit out” after the NBA revealed relatively minor penalties for players who elect not to head to Florida.

“When the NBA announced that players who sit out wouldn’t face consequences and would just lose 1 percent of their salary for each game missed, we sat down to discuss this,” Kalnitis told HoopsHype. “Davis is about to sign the biggest deal of his life, so he would be taking a big risk by playing. It wasn’t a tough decision..If the Wizards were in the fifth or sixth seed (or maybe even the eighth seed), it would be completely different.”

Kalnitis also said the franchise was understanding of their choice, noting that Davis Bertans also informed his teammates about his decision before the report came out.

“The Wizards have known about Davis’ decision for a few days, and Davis told his teammates before it was reported too. They have been so supportive. [GM] Tommy [Sheppard] is the best..and he and Davis have a special connection…Davis told me that they had a pleasant conversation and they were very supportive,” Bertans’ agent furthered.

Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Bertans stands to lose $520,000 if the Wizards don’t advance past the eight seeding games in Orlando. Washington reportedly hopes to re-sign Bertans to a long-term deal in the offseason