Lakers Have Interest in Trading for Wizards Sharpshooter: Report

Lakers Frank Vogel

Getty The Lakers are reportedly pursuing the Washington Wizards' Davis Bertans.

The Los Angeles Lakers look like they’ll be a very active partner heading into the trade deadline.

As the Lakers look for ways to continue to upgrade their roster, they’re looking at a number of veterans. Not only are they interested in the New York Knicks‘ Marcus Morris and recently retired point guard Darren Collison, they’re also looking at forward Davis Bertans of the Washington Wizards.

Bertans ranks second on the Wizards with 15.4 points per game in a bench role. Of his 28 appearances on the season, he has seen just four starts. The Lakers are showing interest in trading for the high-flying Latvian forward, as originally reported by Chase Hughes of NBC Sports.

Number of Teams Interested in Bertan’s Services

However, the Lakers aren’t the only team interested in the European forward’s services — other contenders are quickly emerging such as the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets.

Bertans has been dealing with a right quad injury as of late, but he’s expected to return by the end of this weekend.

As explained by Hughes of NBC Sports, Bertans is a coveted trade piece due to his ability to convert on shots from beyond the arc — 43.4 percent — and the fact that he has an expiring contract worth just $7 million for the remainder of the season.

“In addition to the Sixers, Hawks and Lakers, the Celtics and Nuggets have emerged as suitors for Bertans’ services, NBC Sports Washington has learned. Bertans, 27, has enjoyed a breakout season, averaging 15.4 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 43.4 percent from three on 8.6 attempts per game.

Those last numbers are key. Bertans has established himself as one of the best three-point shooting big men in the NBA. He is on an expiring contract and thus has become a key trade target for teams in need of shooting.

Many believe Bertans, whose salary is $7 million this season, could make $15 million or more annually on his next contract, but the Wizards could pay him that if they choose to with Ian Mahinmi’s $15.5 million salary set to come off the books.”

At 12-24, the Wizards aren’t going anywhere. They continue to be a rebuilding franchise while being on the hook for major contracts in the aforementioned Ian Mahinmi, Bradley Beal and the injured John Wall.

With Bertans unexpectedly emerging as a top bench player and 3-pointer shooter this season, Washington can capitalize on the situation and get some feasible assets in return.

Wizards Have Desire to Re-Sign Davis Bertans

With that being said, the Wizards are going to have to back down from their desire of re-signing Bertans. General manager Tommy Sheppard had previously expressed the desire to resign Bertans as recently as last month.

“We have every intention of retaining him. He’s the exact type of player we want to have in our organization. I think he wants to be here. Business will take care of itself,” Sheppard said.

“There’s so much chit-chat in this league that gets out there. Most of it is contrived by the teams that would love to have Davis. Well, guess what? One of the teams that would have to have him, has him. We intend to keep him. We’re excited about his growth.”

The Lakers have a number of options at their disposal. If they’re looking for a high energy player with athleticism and the ability to convert from long range, Bertans is the perfect option.

Although the Wizards expressed their desire to retain Bertans, they will likely face a trade scenario from a contender where they can’t turn it down.

The trade deadline is on Feb. 6.

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