There’s plenty of excitement surrounding the return of sports. On the NBA side of things, the Wizards made the cut as one of the participating teams in the league’s return to play at Disney World. In late July, they’ll embark on an unprecedented journey to the place “where dreams come true” but they’ll be missing two of their biggest threats. That will make it harder for them to qualify for the playoffs.
We know that John Wall shot down any hope in a return to the court and it is understandable why. What is the point of Wall potentially risking injury to at best get beat in the first round by arguably the best team in the NBA in the Milwaukee Bucks? This season was not about wins or losses but the development of the team overall. Tommy Sheppard has said it since the beginning of the season. But Wall isn’t the only player sitting out.
On Monday we learned that Washington’s elite three-point threat will also be sitting out. It was a logical decision made by Davis Bertans forfeiting around 600k in his 2019-20 salary to ensure he makes much more than that soon. Bertans doesn’t want to risk an injury and he will get paid this offseason either by the Wizards or someone else. But the Wizards have made clear that re-signing Bertans is high on their priority list. That’s why they declined numerous trade offers at the deadline.
The Latvian Laser shot 42.4 percent from beyond the arc, tied for the seventh-best in the league and he also drained 200 three-pointers in 54 games. He was just 24 three-pointers away from breaking Bradley Beal’s single-season franchise record. Those efforts allowed him to participate in the three-point shootout during All-Star weekend. Bertans led the Wizards in three-point field goals per game with 3.7 while averaging 15.4 points per game.
So what kind of contract will Bertans get? He already made $7 million this season and due for a raise will probably get him in the neighborhood of $12-16 million per year. That is assuming the salary cap does not plummet ahead of the 2020-21 season because of so much lost revenue this season.
The Wizards will play eight regular-season games to determine if they’ll qualify for the play-in games (must be less than 4 games back of the No. 8 seed’s record). It is unlikely Washington makes the playoffs so it will be full development mode again, especially for the likes of Rui Hachimura who will have a green light. Bertans sitting out hurts their already slim chances, but the organization supporting his decision may help re-sign the forward. A trio of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Davis Bertans is a whole lot of points lending optimism to Tommy Sheppard’s promise of a quick re-tool.