Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans will sit out of the upcoming NBA restart to be hosted in the bubble city of Orlando, Florida, at Disney’s World of Sports. The Latvian sharpshooter averaged 15.4 points off the bench for the Wizards and is the team’s second-best scorer behind Bradley Beal.
Bertans, 27, decided it’s in his best interest to skip the resumption of the NBA season. This news comes as coronavirus cases are spiking in Florida, with the number of reported cases passing 100,000.
Bertans will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and he’s already recovered from multiple knee surgeries. ESPN reported that the Wizards support Bertans 100%. They also want to sign him in the offseason.
The Wizards, the sixth-best scoring team in the NBA, will take a huge hit without their second-best scorer and best perimeter shooter. Bertans ranked tied for #4 in the NBA with 3.7 3-pointers made per game this season.
The Wizards have a slim chance at actually qualifying for the postseason, and that was before Bertans decided to skip it.
The Orlando Magic (30-35) currently hold the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards (24-40) trail the Magic by 5.5 games. They also trail the #7 seed Brooklyn Nets (30-34) by six games.
According to a recent update by Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, the Wizards are 10,000/1 odds to win the 2020 NBA Championship. The Westgate lists the Wiz at 2000/1 odds to win the Eastern Conference title.
Latvia > Serbia > San Antonio > DC
The Indiana Pacers selected Bertans with a second-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He was still a teenager at the time, and would remain in Europe for a couple of more seasons. His team won the Serbian Cup in 2012 and won three Serbian League titles with Partizan Belgrade. The Pacers traded his rights to the San Antonio Spurs.
In 2016, Bertans joined the Spurs. He struggled in his first three seasons, before finally cracking Pops’ rotation last season, averaging 8 points per game off the bench. He knocked down 45% of his 3-pointers and started in 12 games.
The Wizards acquired Bertans as a throw-in during a multi-team trade with the Brooklyn Nets and San Antonio Spurs.
He found a new life with the Wizards this season. Bertans started in only four games, but provided the team with a much-needed spark from the second unit. Beal, who should’ve been an All-Star this season, led the Wiz with 30.5 points per game, or second-best in the NBA. Bertans, along with rookie Rui Hachimura, provided additional scoring for the Wiz.
Bertans, Unsung Hero in DC
Fantasy nerds and DFS players know all about Bertans. In everyday life, he flies under the radar as a member of the Wizards’ second unit. But he’s been a valuable player off the bench and is among the NBA Sixth Man of the Year contenders. He’s valuable in fantasy and on DFS lineups because of his long-range shooting efficiency. He shot 42.5% from 3-point land, and knocked down 3.7 treys per game (or roughly seven treys every two games).
NBA 3-PT MADE PER GAME (2019-2020)
James Harden (HOU) 4.4 per game
Damian Lillard (POR) 3.9
Buddy Hield (SAC) 3.8
Davis Bertans (WAS) 3.7
Duncan Robinson (MIA) 3.7
D’Angelo Russell 3.5
Bertans ranked in the top 5 among league’s long-distance shooters. Any time you’re on a list with James Harden and Damian Lillard, you’re doing something right. If Bertans chucked up as many 3-pointers as Harden, he’d probably contend for the NBA’s lead in made 3-pointers.
With Bertans out of the lineup, expect Rui Hachimura or Moe Wagner to provide long-range shooting.
Bertans becomes the first NBA player to skip the Disney restart. Who will be next?