As the trade deadline nears on Feb. 6, it’s becoming apparent that the Wizards don’t have any interest in trading their athletic big. In fact, according to this latest report from Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, the Wizards aren’t even listening to trade offers for their 27-year-old forward.
“This is a question a lot of league executives are asking these days. Inquiries to Washington have gone nowhere; several executives tell SI.com that the Wizards wouldn’t even discuss a deal. Some teams, though, are holding out hope Washington will make Bertans available before the trade deadline.”
Why the Wizards Value Davis Bertans Highly
The Wizards clearly value Bertans highly as they believe he can be a fundamental building block for the future for Washington — especially when the injured John Wall finally returns from his injury next season.
The 6-foot-10 Bertans is averaging 15.3 points in just 29.2 minutes per game. He is converting on an astounding 42.6 percent of his 3-point attempts this season — a treasured trait considering the NBA’s reliance on long-range shooting in today’s era.
Mannix explains Bertans’ seemingly perfect fit alongside Washington’s young core.
“With John Wall on the road to recovery, a 6’10” power forward who makes 40-plus percent of his threes is incredibly valuable. Washington can already envision the holes Bertans can create for Wall next season. At 27, Bertans fits into the Wizards’ youth movement, which includes center Thomas Bryant and promising rookie Rui Hachimura. Ownership wants to make the playoffs next season, and a healthy Bertans will help them get there.”
The problem with retaining Bertans is that the Wizards could risk losing him for nothing when he becomes a free agent next summer. He is also expected to command $12-to-$15 million in free agency — a number that Washington might not be able to afford.
“The argument for trading him is that the Wizards can lose him for nothing. Bertans will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, and the Wizards—or whatever team acquires him—will have his Bird rights. But Bertans can decided he wants to play elsewhere, and the Wizards have no power to stop him. Given the current landscape and Bertans’s affordable salary ($7 million), interest in him will continue to grow. The Wizards could extract a No. 1 pick for Bertans—and maybe more.
This will be an interesting call for Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard. Bertans will likely command a $12 million to $15 million per year contract this summer, and if interest in him is strong, Washington could be forced to overpay for him. Dealing him before the deadline could yield multiple cheaper assets the Wizards could use to continue to reboot the franchise. Stay tuned.”
Bertans’ Trade Interest Around the NBA
As mentioned by Mannix, the Lakers weren’t the only team showing interest in Bertans. Other contenders such as the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets and the rebuilding Atlanta Hawks were interested in trading for the athletic, 3-point shooting forward.
With Bertans seemingly off of the table and Andre Iguodala a long shot to be traded to the Purple and Gold, the Lakers will have to shift their attention to other trade options such as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Robert Covington or the Detroit Pistons‘ Derrick Rose.