With the February 6 trade deadline slightly less than a month away, it appears that Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans is drawing attention from several mostly contending teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
On Monday, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes wrote that the Lakers, Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Denver Nuggets -- all among the top teams in their respective conferences -- and the rebuilding Atlanta Hawks are among the leading candidates to acquire Bertans, who will be eligible to enter free agency this summer. This, as noted, is despite Wizards general manager Tommy Shepherd's previous comments about wanting to re-sign the Latvian forward once his contract expires after the 2019-20 season.
Despite coming off the bench for the Wizards, Bertans is currently in the middle of a breakout campaign after being acquired via trade from the San Antonio Spurs last summer. According to Basketball-Reference, he is averaging a solid 15.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 28 games, but more notably sinking 3.8 three-pointers per game at a 43.4 percent clip, making him one of the NBA's most prolific outside shooters. While he is earning just $7 million this season, NBC Sports Washington wrote that many are expecting him to make at least $15 million per year if he enters free agency in the 2020 offseason.
As pointed out by Silver Screen and Roll, the Lakers' purported interest in Bertans doesn't appear surprising, as the team is reportedly looking for some outside shooting help ahead of the trade deadline and targeting players such as the Sacramento Kings' Bogdan Bogdanovic. Given Bertans' salary and the NBA's trading rules for teams over the salary cap, the outlet suggested that Los Angeles could theoretically acquire him in exchange for forward Kyle Kuzma and combo guard Quinn Cook, both of whom earn approximately $5 million combined.The Celtics, meanwhile, have long been rumored as a potential suitor for Bertans. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, it was suggested last month that Boston could acquire the 6-foot-10-inch sharpshooter in exchange for a trade package focused on backup center Enes Kanter.
Although Bertans could help many rival teams improve their outside shooting if he gets moved before next month's trade deadline, Silver Screen and Roll also cautioned that the latest rumors surrounding the 27-year-old should be taken with a grain of salt. The outlet opined that NBC Sports Washington's Hughes is "very much a local reporter," noting that he had claimed last year that the Lakers were interested in former Wizards big man Bobby Portis, who eventually signed with the New York Knicks last summer.