The Lakers are coming off a magical season where, despite all the difficulties due to COVID-19, they still won an NBA championship. However, every team is still looking to improve this offseason, and the Lakers are certainly included. There are a ton of rumors floating around about players that LA could add before the 2020-21 NBA season begins. However, there is one name that the Lakers have been linked to that is a pretty underrated scoring threat. That player is Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans.
Davis Bertans has become an underrated scorer
The Indiana Pacers selected Davis Bertans in the 2011 NBA draft but ultimately traded his draft rights to the San Antonio Spurs. However, Bertans continued to play overseas. It wasn’t until the 2016-17 season that he finally started playing in the NBA.
Bertans played for the Spurs from 2016-17 through 2018-19 and was just a nice role player. After averaging 4.5 points per game in 12.1 minutes per game in 2016-17, Bertans averaged 5.9 points per game in 14.1 minutes in 2017-18. Bertans had a larger role for the Spurs during the 2018-19 season, though, as he averaged eight points per game and 3.5 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game.
Although Bertans showed some growth, the Spurs traded him to the Washington Wizards prior to the 2019-20 season.
It was during the 2019-20 season with the Wizards, though, that Bertans had a breakout year. He ultimately averaged 15.4 points per game for the Wizards last season to go with 4.5 rebounds. Bertans proved his ability as a 3-point shooter, too, as he shot 8.7 attempts per game from long range last season and made 42.4% of those shots.
Bertans proved throughout the year that he could score when needed. He ultimately had six games where he scored 25 points or more. This included a 32-point game against the Charlotte Hornets, where he made 8-of-12 attempts from 3-point range.
The LA Lakers could potentially have an interest in adding him
Bertans is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and NBC Sports recently reported that the Wizards have made it their top priority to re-sign him.
However, NBC Sports also reported that multiple teams without enough cap room to sign him are preparing to make sign-and-trade offers to Bertans. The teams were not reported, but there are reportedly two Eastern Conference teams and one Western Conference team.
It is unclear whether the Lakers are 100% that Western Conference team. NBC Sports reports, though, that the Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Denver Nuggets each had an interest in him before the trade deadline last season. So, based on that information, there is a decent possibility that the Lakers could be interested in him now.
In addition to the teams that potentially want to acquire him via sign-and-trade, the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, and Phoenix Suns are reportedly expected to target him in free agency.
So, say that the Lakers were to add him, what would he bring to the reigning NBA champions?
Davis Bertans could be a great addition to the Lakers
Based on how the Lakers’ roster looks, and how they play on the court, Bertans could be a perfect fit.
He is a 6-foot-10-inch sharpshooter. For the Lakers, LeBron James and Anthony Davis command a lot of attention. So, if they were to receive a double-team, they could easily kick it to Bertans for an easy 3-point opportunity.
The Lakers would welcome a great 3-point shooter, too. No Lakers player who attempted three or more 3-pointers per game last season shot better than 38.5% from beyond the arc. Bertans has shot over 42% from 3-point range each of the last two seasons, so he would be an excellent upgrade.
The LA Lakers are already a very dangerous team. Adding Bertans, though, would make stopping them even more difficult.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference