Washington Wizards sharpshooter Davis Bertans has decided to sit out the impending NBA restart in Orlando according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim Bontemps. The Wizards are one of the final teams to have been selected to participate in the restart. Bertans’ agent confirmed to HoopsHype that his client will not participate in the return.
Reporting with @TimBontemps: Washington Wizards F Davis Bertans has decided to sit out the Orlando restart, sources tell ESPN. Bertans is entering free agency off of his most productive NBA season – with two ACL injuries in his past.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 22, 2020
Bertans has a legitimate shot at winning Most Improved Player in his first year with Washington. The 27-year-old has exploded onto the scene with his 3-point shooting, with a scorching 42.4% from deep. While Bertans shot 42.9% from beyond the arc last season, he is shooting nearly nine threes per game and averaging 15.4 points per game. The Latvian big was selected to the three-point contest, though he did not win it. And at times, he is flat out automatic:
Davis Bertans was truly a joy to watch this season.
Just launched 3s whenever from wherever: pic.twitter.com/oO3ZlK5RQc
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) June 22, 2020
Davis Bertans is an impending free agent and will likely be one of the more sought-after players this “offseason”-whenever that may be. Given the long layoff of time coupled with the Wizards unlikely to advance to the playoffs, it makes sense that Bertans preserves his health with the expected payday.
“To be completely honest, Davis was prepared to play and then he made a last-minute decision to sit out,” Kalnitis told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. “We’re playing the cards that we were dealt. When the NBA announced that players who sit out wouldn’t face consequences and would just lose 1 percent of their salary for each game missed, we sat down to discuss this. Davis is about to sign the biggest deal of his life, so he would be taking a big risk by playing. It wasn’t a tough decision, to be honest. If the Wizards were in the fifth or sixth seed (or maybe even the eighth seed), it would be completely different. Davis is a competitor. But in this situation, he decided to sit out.”
Given the implications of sitting out being relatively soft, several other players may be willing to sit out and not risk injury or infection. In a shallow free-agent class, it may have been wise of Davis Bertans to sit out the rest of this season.