With Davis Bertans on the doorstep of a potentially lucrative off-season and free agency period, the Wizards’ forward’s decision to opt out of the season restart in Orlando makes sense for both the team, which hopes to resign him, and Bertans, who hopes to make a lot of money and not be injured. From a Wizards fans’ perspective, this is obviously disappointing. At least for what it means this season. There won’t be more of the ‘Latvian Laser’ knocking down big three-point shots for the Wizards for the remainder of this season; potentially in a Wizards jersey permanently. But from a business point of view for Bertans, this is the smartest move Bertans could make with so much potential money at stake. He entered the 2019-20 NBA season signing a 1-yr/$7M contract that allowed him to become an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of this season.
RELATED: PLAYERS WHO WON’T BE PLAYING IN ORLANDO Bertans, in just his fourth season, was in the middle of his best season in the NBA, averaging 15 points, five rebounds, and two assists per game while shooting 43% from behind the arc; all career highs. He is currently ranked seventh in 3pt % and 27th in Offensive Box Plus/Minus (2.7), above Gordon Hayward and Donovan Mitchell. Not to be forgotten in this is the fact that Bertans has suffered two ACL injuries in his career. So it makes sense for him to not want to risk another season off rehabbing.
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Although the reason for the pause in play was awful, it has now provided an opportunity for Bertans to take advantage of the rest period to preserve his health and prepare for what will surely be an onslaught of potential suitors including the Wizards who are in full support of his decision to not return to play.
Why? It makes sense for both sides – even if it is taking a valuable asset away from Washington in the season restart. The Wizards are already tight against the salary cap and with the pending return of John Wall on the horizon, there is more than enough incentive to try their best to retain Bertans with whatever abilities available. Bertans’ heavy rebounding and paint presence compliment the Wizards offense tremendously by creating space, stretching the floor and knocking down big-play three-pointers. The NBA is full of talented guards and slashers but not too many knock-down three-point sharp-shooters. The asset of having Bertans at their disposal is not lost on The Wizards organization or players in the least bit. When, and if, the Wizards and Bertans find themselves reunited for the 2020-21 season, the reality of the Wizards being a tour-de-force in the Eastern Conference will be solidified.
And it could all be worth – for both sides – making it through a strange late/postseason without him.
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Why one Wizards player is making the smart decision to skip NBA restart originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington