As Wojnarowski notes, Bertans has suffered a pair of ACL injuries in the past and will be entering free agency this offseason on the heels of a career year. It’s not clear whether Bertans has any additional safety concerns related to COVID-19, but if he suffers an injury this summer, it could diminish his value as he seeks a new contract in the coming months.
Of course, it’s also worth noting that – with or without Bertans – the Wizards aren’t exactly championship contenders. Already missing star point guard John Wall, Washington will enter the restart trailing the Magic for the No. 8 seed in the East by 5.5 games. In order to earn a playoff spot, the Wizards would have to gain at least two games on Orlando or Brooklyn during the eight seeding contests, then win two consecutive games in a play-in tournament.
According to Wojnarowski, the Wizards “fully support” Bertans’ decision, which is viewed as a preventative measure. The veteran sharpshooter is still expected to participate in pre-Orlando training with the team, Woj adds.
Bertans, 27, averaged a career-best 15.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.7 APG in 54 games (29.3 MPG) during his first season as a Wizard, making an impressive 42.4% of 8.7 three-point attempts per game. The Wizards, who turned down offers for Bertans at the trade deadline in February, view re-signing him as a top offseason priority, says Wojnarowski.
As for the short term, the Wizards will be eligible to sign a substitute player to replace Bertans in Orlando, without needing to open up a roster spot for that replacement. Once the franchise signs a substitute, Bertans would become ineligible to return this season.
Bertans will also forfeit 1/92.6th of his salary for each game he misses this summer — based on his $7MM salary for 2019/20, that would normally work out to about $605K for eight games. However, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets that the actual figure will likely be close to $520K, since it will take into account previous reductions.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.