Despite the fact that the NBA has started to favor the teams that are prolific from the 3-point line, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to win the championship while not being among the league’s shooting teams. They actually ranked as the 21st team in the league in terms of 3-point percentage. It worked out fine for them this past season but it’s an area that they should really try to improve.
Based on rumors that have popped up this offseason, it sounds like the plan is for the Lakers to add an elite 3-point shooter. According to NBC Sports, they are among the teams interested in Washington Wizards big man Davis Bertans:
Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard was sincere in his comments last month about his intentions to re-sign sharpshooting forward Davis Bertans this summer, but that hasn’t stopped teams from showing interest ahead of the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline.
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.
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Bertans Is Coming off His Best Year
After a slow start to his NBA career, Bertans had his best season yet in Washington. He averaged over 15 points a game while averaging 42% from three. There should be a lot of interest in his services this year.
At 6’10, Bertans is certainly a power forward but he thrives off the bench. He only started four games last season but was still one of the Wizards’ best scorers. If the Lakers can add a guy who can come in for Anthony Davis and start sinking threes at a consistent rate, that’s going to be very good for the team.
Sending Kyle Kuzma to Washington for Bertans makes some sense for Los Angeles. Bertans is essentially what the Lakers want Kuzma to be. If they make that swap, then they’ll have their sixth-man who can put up big points while the Wizards get a talented, young piece.
Danilo Gallinari Is Also Option
If the Lakers are looking for a European big man who can sink threes but miss out on Bertans, they could take a look at Danilo Gallinari. He’s older than Bertans but also has a much longer track record of success. Over his 10-year NBA career, Gallinari has averaged 16.2 points per game while shooting 38% from three. He’s played well on good and bad teams so there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t have success with the Lakers.
He’s also recently said that he wants to compete for titles and even congratulated the Lakers after their championship win. It’s not farfetched to suggest that he wouldn’t mind returning to Los Angeles. However, unlike Bertans, Gallinari is a starter and almost always has been. Anthony Davis isn’t moving to center so that would mean Gallinari would have to play small forward. That’s not the worst idea ever but the Lakers are already massive. A lineup featuring LeBron James, Davis, JaVale McGee and Gallinari would have to be one of the biggest in the NBA. If the Lakers think they can make that work, then Gallinari might end up being a great fit.