Davis Bertans

Wizards Notes: Bertans, Coronavirus, Brooks, Wall

The Wizards made a big splash in free agency, deciding to commit to power forward Davis Bertans to the tune of $80MM across five years. Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington observes that expectations have increased for Bertans, but wonders if that means the way the Wizards use him will change.

Hughes posits that Bertans will remain a bench scorer but that the club will expect his scoring barrage from a breakout 2019/20 season to continue for the length of his deal.

“To me, if we win games, I’m happy,” Bertans said recently of how he feels about his role with the club going forward. “It doesn’t matter if I’m playing 25-to-30 minutes or I’m not. Last season, I didn’t start most of the games, but I did finish most of the games. In some ways, that’s more important.”

There’s more out of DC:

  • An incoming Wizards player has tested positive for COVID-19, but has yet to arrive in D.C., per Ava Wallace of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Notable new additions to the roster include rookie forward Deni Avdija, reserve center Robin Lopez, stretch four Anthony Gill, point guard Raul Neto, and new two-way player Cassius Winston.
  • Wizards head coach Scott Brooks is in the final year of the five-year, $35MM deal he signed with Washington in 2016, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington notes. Brooks sounds hopeful about an extension. “It’s no secret how much I love this team, the community, the ownership group. Those things will be taken care of at the right time. I’m excited, I’m fired up about coaching this team,” Brooks said.
  • With John Wall set to play his first games with the Wizards in two years, Brooks indicates that the club will play it safe with its starting point guard’s workload for the 2020/21 season, but notes that the former All-Star is “ready to go,” per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Brooks raved, “He has his speed and strength and his shot looks great.”
  • During a virtual news conference today, Brooks also discussed his interest in developing such a young club, per Ava Wallace of the Washington Post“You have to have the talent and skill set, which we have, but there’s a lot of new pieces,” Brooks said.

Southeast Notes: Adebayo, Bertans, Rondo, Mane

Heat president Pat Riley said signing Bam Adebayo to an extension was an easy decision, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. At age 23, Adebayo has already become one of the league’s best big men, averaging 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists last season while making his first All-Star appearance.

“One of the most important things a franchise can do is to make sure that your best, youngest, cornerstone players sign on the dotted line,” Riley said. “Getting Bam his extension was a no-brainer for us because we know he will be around for years to come. That’s great for the Heat, great for the fans and great for Bam.”

Adebayo will only receive a full super-max deal, paying him 30% of the salary cap, if he earns MVP honors, tweets John Hollinger of The Athletic. That figure is 28.5% if he is a first-team All-NBA selection and 27.5% if he wins Defensive Player of the Year. If none of those things happen, Adebayo will be paid 25% of the cap. Those figures are confirmed by Chiang, who adds that Adebayo’s new contract doesn’t contain any player or team options (Twitter link).

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Re-signing Davis Bertans gives the Wizards one sure thing on a roster filled with uncertainty, states Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. Bertans developed into one of the NBA’s most dangerous three-point shooters during his first season in Washington and was rewarded with a five-year, $80MM contract. “There’d been talk from (general manager Tommy Sheppard) and the Wizards that they wanted me to stay,” Bertans said. “But until it comes to free agency, you actually get the call that the team wants you, you can’t be sure. I was happy that it wasn’t just some talk from Tommy and the whole team, that they really, really wanted me to come back.”
  • Rajon Rondo‘s new contract with the Hawks includes a $750K incentive if he plays at least 33 games and the team reaches the playoffs, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
  • Karim Mane, who signed a two-way contract with the Magic on Friday, has similarities in his game to Victor Oladipo and Jrue Holiday, observes Josh Cohen of NBA.com. Mane is relentless on defense, excelling in traps, and is hard for defenders to stay in front of when he drives to the basket.

Wizards Re-Sign Davis Bertans To Five-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 22, 9:45pm: Bertans’ fifth year will only be partially guaranteed for $5MM for now, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who tweets that it will become fully guaranteed if Bertans plays 75% of his team’s games in year four of the deal.

NOVEMBER 22, 1:06pm: It’s official, according to Bertans, who tweeted a photo that shows him signing his lucrative new deal with the Wizards.

NOVEMBER 20, 8:55pm: The Wizards and Davis Bertans have agreed to a five-year, $80MM deal, agent Arturs Kalnitis tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Bertans’ new contract will include an early termination option for year five, per Wojnarowski.

Re-signing the talented stretch four was Washington’s top priority this offseason and the team accomplished that goal at a premium price.

Bertans, who turns 28 this Thursday, opted out of the NBA’s restart due to his history of ACL injuries and a desire to preserve his value as an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Bertans was the subject of numerous trade rumors prior to February’s deadline but the Wizards chose to keep him with the intent of locking him up long-term. By retaining him, they held his Bird rights, giving Washington the ability to exceed the cap to re-sign him.

He had a career year in 2019/20 during his first season as a Wizard, averaging 15.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.7 APG in 54 games (29.3 MPG).

His calling card is his ability to stretch defenses. Bertans made 42.4% of 8.7 three-point attempts per game.

He was in the Spurs organization for three seasons and played regularly off the bench. He wound up in Washington last offseason as part of a three-way deal that also involved the Nets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agency Rumors: Whiteside, Favors, Clarkson, Bertans

The Kings have interest in free agent center Hassan Whiteside, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said today on The Jump (Twitter link via Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee). James Ham of NBC Sports California confirms (via Twitter) that he has heard similar whispers, though he cautions he’s not sure how serious that interest is.

Here are more free agency rumors:

  • Free agent center Derrick Favors is expected to have contact with his current team – the Pelicans – and his old team – the Jazz – as free agency opens, league sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Other teams will also kick the tires on Favors, Jones adds.
  • The Jazz are making re-sigining Jordan Clarkson their top priority in free agency, tweets Tony Jones.
  • The Wizards are meeting with Davis Bertans as free agency opens, according to Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). Re-signing the stretch four has long been considered Washington’s top priority this offseason.

Knicks Notes: Bertans, Randle, Toppin, Point Guards

Wizards sharpshooter Davis Bertans could be a free agent option for the Knicks if they can’t land Gordon Hayward, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who says Bertans is high on the club’s wish list. New York has a need for outside shooting and Bertans is one of the best in the league. He ranked third last season in three-pointers taken and made, while hitting them at a 42.4% clip.

Like Hayward, Bertans will carry an expensive price tag and there will be plenty of competition for his services. Washington will make keeping him a priority, and the Spurs would like to bring him back after trading him away to open cap space in an ill-fated attempt to sign Marcus Morris.

The Knicks are one of the few teams entering free agency with ample cap space, roughly $35MM after clearing out the roster Thursday and acquiring Ed Davis from Utah. Berman notes that a sign-and-trade with Washington could be possible, with New York throwing in a couple of the 2023 second-rounders it acquired this week.

There’s more Knicks news to pass along:

  • Julius Randle‘s future in New York could be shaky after the Knicks drafted his apparent replacement in Obi Toppin, states Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Randle averaged 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game during his first season with the team, but shot a disappointing 46% from the floor and wasn’t able to become the focus of the offense. He will make $18.9MM this season, but only has a $4MM guarantee on his $19.8MM contract for 2021/22.
  • In addition to his overall skills, Toppin brings an electrifying athleticism that should make him a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden, notes David Waldstein of The New York Times“I don’t rank his dunks,” said Dayton head coach Anthony Grant, “but he will definitely excite a crowd with his explosiveness, variety and showmanship. He’s fun to watch; must-see TV.”
  • For all the excitement about the Knicks’ draft, they still haven’t filled their most pressing need, which is finding a point guard, contends Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. The decision to part with Elfrid Payton leaves Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. as the only point guards currently on the roster. Options include trading for Russell Westbrook or making a huge offer to free agent Fred VanVleet, but Vaccaro suggests the Knicks might wait for a long-term solution until next year’s draft when Cade Cunningham, Caleb Love and DJ Steward may all be available.

Wizards Rumors: Beal, Draft, Wall, Bertans, Roster

Within his preview of the Wizards‘ offseason, Fred Katz of The Athletic writes that there’s “no way” the team will trade Bradley Beal this fall. General manager Tommy Sheppard reiterated that point today, telling reporters on a conference call that Beal “isn’t going anywhere,” as Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets.

While the Wizards have conveyed that sentiment for a long time, both privately and publicly, rival teams have still been keeping an eye on the situation, hoping things in D.C. may change. But with Beal not expressing to the team that he wants out, and the Wizards showing zero interest in moving him, it appears potential suitors will have to wait until at least the trade deadline – if not the 2021 offseason – to take a shot at Beal.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • Sheppard told reporters today that the Wizards are “certainly looking to move up” in the draft, but added that they could also theoretically move back and end up with the same player they want at No. 9, tweets Katz. Sheppard also said Washington would like to acquire another second-round pick in addition to No. 37 (Twitter link via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington).
  • The Wizards plan to restrict John Wall‘s workload upon his return from an Achilles tear this season, Sheppard confirmed today. As Hughes writes for NBC Sports Washington, the plan is for Wall to sit one half of the team’s back-to-back to start the season — he’s also extremely unlikely to match his career average of 35.9 minutes per game in 2020/21. “Four games in five nights, a compressed season, all those things; we’re gonna save John from himself,” Sheppard told Katz. “He’s not gonna play 40 minutes a night, and we’ve gotta manage his schedule, certainly. But from where he is at a talent level, I think John’s gonna be able to make a big impact on our team. I think he’s gonna take a lot of pressure off everybody.”
  • The Wizards are still the favorites to re-sign Davis Bertans, according to Katz, who says most people around the league think the sharpshooter will end up with a three- or four-year deal in the range of $12-15MM per year.
  • Outside of re-signing Bertans, Washington’s top priority this offseason will be adding a rim-protecting big man, writes Katz. The Wizards would also like to bring in someone who can guard bigger wings.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Hayes, Zeller, Magic

Because the NBA salary cap for the 2020/21 season was not reduced in the league’s new CBA, as had been feared, the Wizards will have more flexibility in the offseason under the cap than the team was perhaps anticipating, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington details. Hughes anticipates that, as a result, Washington may now be able to retain sharpshooting free agent power forward Davis Bertans.

If the Wizards do opt to keep Bertans, they will still have the non-taxpayer mid-level exception and their bi-annual exception at their disposal. Using this money to add defensive-oriented players may be the smartest application of these signings.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Draft prospect Killian Hayes has worked out for the Magic, league sources tell Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Though the Magic own the No. 15 pick, and there is a good chance that Hayes will be gone by then, the team has several players it could package to move up.
  • Hornets center Cody Zeller is not sweating the possibility that the team may use him as a trade chip, as he tells Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “I don’t stress about it. I understand it’s part of the deal,” he said. Zeller, a free agent in 2021, is owed $15.4MM this season.
  • With their current core, the Magic will have limited cap flexibility this summer to add players in free agency, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic. If all the team’s player options are exercised and all qualifying offers are extended, Orlando will be paying its squad $142.7MM.

Davis Bertans Expected To Draw Sign-And-Trade Interest

Wizards forward Davis Bertans is expected to have plenty of options in free agency this fall. Washington considers re-signing Bertans its top priority, and a previous report suggested that the Knicks, Hawks, and Suns are expected to have interest in the sharpshooting big man.

In addition to those teams with cap space, at least three over-the-cap clubs are preparing to make sign-and-trade offers for Bertans, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. While the identity of those teams isn’t known, Hughes’ source says there are two in the Eastern Conference and one in the West.

Bertans, who turns 28 this Thursday, opted out of the NBA’s restart due to his history of ACL injuries and a desire to preserve his value for his upcoming free agency. Before that, he had enjoyed a career year in 2019/20 during his first season as a Wizard, averaging a career-best 15.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 1.7 APG in 54 games (29.3 MPG).

Bertans also had his best shooting season, making an impressive 42.4% of 8.7 three-point attempts per game. His rare combination of size and shot-making ability will make him an intriguing target for teams seeking a big man who can stretch the floor, and he’s widely expected to command a contract that exceeds the mid-level exception. That means over-the-cap teams that want to land him would have no choice but to pursue a sign-and-trade deal.

According to Hughes, Washington will get the first meeting with Bertans later this month and will have the first shot to lock him up. While the Wizards don’t project to have any cap room, they’ll hold Bertans’ Bird rights, meaning they can go over the cap to re-sign him. They turned down offers for him at the trade deadline, so they’ll be motivated to get something done.

If Bertans decides he wants to leave D.C., a team with cap room would be able to sign him outright, in which case the Wizards would lose him for nothing. In a sign-and-trade scenario, both Bertans and Washington would have to sign off on the deal, which would give the Wizards a little leverage to recoup some value.

It’s also worth noting that any team acquiring a player via sign-and-trade would be hard-capped at the tax apron (approximately $139MM) for the rest of the 2020/21 league year. For a team like Boston – which had interest in Bertans at last season’s trade deadline – that could be a real obstacle, as the Celtics already project to be a taxpayer next year.

Bontemps’ Latest: Antetokounmpo, Oladipo, VanVleet, Hawks

Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s decision on a supermax extension will have a wide-ranging effect on this offseason and the summer of 2021, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Several teams that are saving cap space to make a run at the two-time MVP next year would be more likely to spend right away if he accepts an offer from the Bucks. The Raptors would be more willing to spend big to keep free agent guard Fred VanVleet, while the Heat and Mavericks might look to make significant moves right away.

Bontemps has heard from multiple sources that Milwaukee won’t panic if Antetokoumpo turns down the extension. Instead of trying to trade him before he reaches free agency, the Bucks will look for roster upgrades to give him a better chance to compete for a title before he hits the open market. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Milwaukee’s ownership won’t mind adding payroll to improve, so the team could be actively seeking trades before the start of next season.

There’s more on potential offseason moves, all courtesy of Bontemps:

  • Victor Oladipo is also eligible for an extension, but it might be tricky for him and the Pacers to arrive at a mutually acceptable figure. The team can offer a new deal that starts at around $26MM — 120% of his salary for next season. However, Oladipo could potentially make much more as an unrestricted free agent in 2021 and may use the upcoming season to show that he’s fully recovered from a torn quadriceps tendon. As a small market team, Indiana might decide to seek a deal now involving Oladipo rather than risk losing him for no return, Bontemps notes. The Pacers already have Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis under long-term deals and may be wary of giving another one to Oladipo.
  • VanVleet will be the top free agent this offseason, and the Raptors are hoping to keep him without compromising any chance they have at Antetokounmpo. ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports that Toronto would like to reach a new deal that doesn’t exceed four years at $80MM. The Pistons, Knicks, and Hawks all appear to be options to maximize his value if VanVleet doesn’t mind leaving a contender for a rebuilding team.
  • Atlanta goes into free agency with the most money to spend ($42MM), giving general manager Travis Schlenk an advantage as he looks to add to his core of young talent. There aren’t any franchise players on this year’s market, but Bontemps mentions Davis Bertans, Danilo Gallinari and Joe Harris as possibilities, along with VanVleet.
  • In the wake of playoff disappointments and coaching changes, the Clippers and Sixers could both be looking for roster shakeups. According to Bontemps, L.A. may try to move Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Ivica Zubac or find sign-and trade deals involving Marcus Morris or Montrezl Harrell, while Philadelphia’s top priority is to unload Al Horford‘s contract.

Bulls Notes: Unseld, Coaching Candidates, FA Targets

Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld Jr. made a stronger case for the Bulls‘ head coaching vacancy after Denver defeated the Clippers in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Tuesday night, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski notes that Bulls executive vice president Arturas Karnisovas, who worked in Denver’s front office with Unseld, already thought highly of him. The 44-year-old assistant coach also received a ringing endorsement from Nuggets head coach Mike Malone after their victory in Game 7. “Wes Unseld should be a head coach,” Malone said.

Unseld is reportedly among 10 candidates who were a part of Karnisovas’ original list for the Bulls’ head coaching job.

Here’s more from the Windy City:

  • K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago evaluates the 10 candidates connected to the Bulls’ head coaching vacancy. Johnson notes that outside of former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and former Thunder head coach Billy Donovan, the rest of the candidates are assistant coaches. Former Bulls coach Jim Boylen was an assistant before getting promoted to head coach.
  • Bulls rookie point guard Coby White potentially divulged some inside information about the team’s head coaching search on Wednesday, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. White was asked by reporters what he wants in the next head coach and mentioned the team’s timeline for the position. “We haven’t talked about the new coach because it’s so spread out right now. They haven’t really narrowed it down to the people that — I think, don’t they narrow it down Friday or something like that?” According to Cowley, there are indications that Chicago has moved on to the second round of interviews, with the first round reportedly wrapping up last week.
  • In his latest mailbag, Sam Smith of Bulls.com takes a look at some potential free agent targets for Chicago. Smith writes that if veteran forward Otto Porter opts into his $28MM player option, the Bulls will be over the salary cap. Therefore, the team will likely be out of the running for a top-tier free agent until next offseason. That being said, Smith likes Markieff Morris or Marcus Morris, along with Davis Bertans, and possibly former first-round pick Emmanuel Mudiay.