NBA Rumor: Davis Bertans Trade?

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One league source with knowledge of Boston’s plans said Bertans, who is shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the 3-point line on 8.4 attempts per game, was never made available by Washington. The source said reports that he could be acquired for two first-round picks were inaccurate. Also, the fact that Bertans is an unrestricted free agent this summer would have made Boston reluctant to surrender that bounty anyway.

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All-Star point guard John Wall sat down with NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller for an upcoming episode of Wizards Talk, and he says he wants to play with the Latvian Laser. Miller asked Wall who has impressed him the most this season during the time he has sat out and watched while recovering from a ruptured left Achilles. “Bertans. I knew he could shoot the ball being with the Spurs, but I never knew he could shoot the ball that well. I think it’s very amazing if I get the opportunity to have him and Brad on both ends at one time,” Wall said.

There is strong interest in Boston in Davis Bertans, who would fill a couple of needs. Bertans could join the frontcourt rotation and juice what has been a brutally bad shooting bench. The Celtics second unit is 28 in three-point shooting, per NBA.com, sandwiched between Minnesota and Cleveland. For a team that makes a living beyond the three-point line … that’s bad. Washington has effectively hung up on teams looking to extract Bertans, but Boston could make things interesting if they throw a pick or two into the pot. Because really … what are they holding on to them for?

Despite hearing his name surface as a trade target for various teams, the 6’10” forward has enjoyed life off the court in Washington and would like to remain there. “It’s a great city,” Bertans told Bleacher Report. “I love that there’s some history. It’s an international city, and at the same time, my wife enjoys it. We’re living downtown. There are a lot of places you can just walk, and you don’t have to drive anywhere. Having a little bit more of a similar feel to how it is back home for us in Latvia because we also live in the capital city downtown and have the opportunity to walk downtown and not be stuck in the car for a half-hour going somewhere.”

As of now, most executives around the league expect Bertans to remain a Wizard. Despite hearing his name surface as a trade target for various teams, the 6’10” forward has enjoyed life off the court in Washington and would like to remain there. “It’s a great city,” Bertans told Bleacher Report. “I love that there’s some history. It’s an international city, and at the same time, my wife enjoys it. We’re living downtown. There are a lot of places you can just walk, and you don’t have to drive anywhere. Having a little bit more of a similar feel to how it is back home for us in Latvia because we also live in the capital city downtown and have the opportunity to walk downtown and not be stuck in the car for a half-hour going somewhere.”

There’s a feeling around the league that the Wizards almost have to shop Bertans, if just to see if there is a contender willing to go wild with draft picks to get him. Bertans has been terrific this season, a prolific three-point shooter, jacking up nearly nine per game, who is among the candidates for the NBA’s Most Improved award. He seems like an ideal fit with a John Wall–Bradley Beal backcourt, the kind of frontcourt player who can open up the floor for both.

General manager Elton Brand’s first stab at a fix has been scoping the market for more shooters. Embiid is an average shooter and Simmons is a nonshooter. The team’s offense excels with just one of them but gets clunky with them both, so finding players who can space the floor is critical. The Sixers have expressed interest in a long list of wings, including Malik Beasley (Nuggets), Glenn Robinson III (Warriors), Davis Bertans (Wizards), E’Twaun Moore (Pelicans), and Andre Iguodala (Grizzlies), according to multiple league sources.

The Wizards will play two of the teams that have targeted Bertans this week, the Celtics and Hawks. Bertans, though, remains out with a right quad injury and will miss at least their game against Boston. That injury is healed to the point Bertans is expected to return soon and likely by the end of the weekend, according to one person familiar with his recovery. If Bertans comes back soon and plays like he did before the injury, the trade interest will only continue to heat up.
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