Forward Davis Bertans is coming off a disappointing NBA season, averaging a career-low 10.9 minutes per game in 45 contests (also a career low) with Dallas in 2022/23.
He was traded to the Thunder last month, with the Mavs motivated to dump his salary. Oklahoma City is facing a roster crunch, so Bertans isn’t a lock to be on the team’s roster entering ’23/24, despite carrying a $17MM cap hit for the upcoming season and a $5MM partial guarantee for ’24/25.
The 30-year-old sharpshooter is currently competing for his native Latvia at the 2023 World Cup. The Latvians got off to a strong start on Friday, easily defeating Lebanon by a score of 109-70.
Bertans spoke to Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops.net ahead of Latvia’s Sunday clash with France, touching on a number of topics.
On Bertans’ expectations with the Thunder:
“My role has always changed for reasons that have to do with what every team expects from me and wants from me. I always try to adapt. Whatever the coach is going to ask from me, that’s what I’m going to do. Everyone knows that when I step on the court I go 100 percent regardless of what I have to do on the court. Whatever the role is, I’ll try to be the best player I can be on that role.”
“Great guy, great teammate when I was in D.C. Knowing him, he’s a tough guy and he’ll bounce back and hopefully sooner than later he’ll be back on the court.”
On Latvia’s matchup with Olympic silver medalist France, which was dominated by Canada in its opener:
“Even if they won the game, it would be the same France coming at us. Of course, they are facing relegation, in a way of speaking. Honestly, I think they would’ve probably played the same way regardless of the outcome against Canada. That’s because they know that we can be a dangerous team. It’s going to be more about us and the way we command the game. The first minutes are going to be important. You got to be ready for physicality anyway. On offense try to get to our shots, use our advantages and be extremely physical on the defensive end with their big guys.”