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Wizards sniper Davis Bertans to sit out NBA restart ahead of free agency

Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans plans to sit out when the 2019-20 NBA season resumes, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Bertans is the first player to opt-out of the restart, as players will have until Wednesday, June 24 to declare whether they plan to take part on the remainder of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Bertans, who will still take part in preseason workouts with the team, chose to sit out of the restart as a preventive measure — as Wojnarowski noted the forward suffered two prior ACL injuries and could be at risk after being away from the court for five months. The Wizards are in full support of his decision, as every player must make their own.

Bertans is coming off a career-best season, averaging 15.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his fourth year in the league. He’s also shooting 42.4% from deep, only .5% off his career-best from the prior season — only that he’s mustered that mark while taking twice as many shots from 3-point land.

The 6-foot-10 marksman is expected to be a top offseason priority in free agency.

“The Latvian Laser” has been on a roll this season, quickly going from nifty offseason acquisition to a major steal. The Wizards acquired Bertans in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs, who hoped to make room for then-free-agent Marcus Morris.

Morris backtracked on the agreement and the Spurs were left without their coveted acquisition, only to see Bertans bloom in Washington as a key shooter in the rotation.

Bertans is the first of a few players that will choose not to take part in the restart, be it for concerns about potential injury after a long layoff, COVID-19, or the sheer restrictions that come with making the trip and being sequestered in Orlando. Others have also had qualms about playing during a time of civil and political unrest.