Should the Sixers trade for Davis Bertans?

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards
Jan 10, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans (42) leans over after being injured against the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers are in the market for change. What that looks like is to be determined but one thing that everyone knows is that the Sixers need shooting. Sixers General Manager Elton Brand has a lot on his plate this deadline as many are questioning his signings after they’ve failed to pan out this season. Currently sixth in the East, Brand has a difficult job ahead of him if they are to gain some ground on the other playoff contenders in the East.

Not making Brand’s job any easier, two of the Sixers prime targets in Robert Covington and Malik Beasley were just recently traded.

One target the Sixers have been linked to is Washington Wizards Forward Davis Bertans. Nicknamed the Latvian Lazer, Bertans is an amazing shooter, especially from deep. He could also comfortably slot right into the Power Forward role for the Sixers as either a starter or sixth man. Reports of late have stated that the Wizards have soured on moving Bertans as of late but that never means a player is fully off the market. Here are some of the pros and cons of adding Davis Bertans to the Sixers roster.

Pro

Latvian Lazer

Davis Bertans has this nickname for a reason, he is an absolute sniper. A member of the Spurs bench before this year, Bertans saw his usage rate skyrocket with the Wizards and he’s still as effective. The obvious need is shooting and Bertans provides that in bunches. The Sixers could easily slot him right in-between Harris and Embiid and the Sixers’ spacing would be much improved.

Bertans is not a player who out of nowhere got hot and that could go cold just as quickly, he has been a high-quality shooter since he came into the league. He wouldn’t solve every offensive problem but he would check a couple of boxes on the shopping list.

Contract

Bertans cap number is pretty low at $7mil this year. The Sixers would have to give up draft compensation to get him but as far as matching salaries, it’s doable. Trading Mike Scott and possibly Jonah Bolden to round out salaries. It’s not often that you can get a player like Bertans on such an affordable deal, just a shame he’s not locked up for more years.

Cons

Limited

Davis Bertans is a great offensive talent, specifically as a shooter, outside of that, there isn’t much else he does. He’s not the most gifted defender, he won’t pull down double-digit rebounds, he’s very good but he’s a specialist. Should the Sixers invest what the Wizards are asking (likely a first-round pick) for a specialist?

Even some areas Bertans succeeds in he just doesn’t do that often. For instance, he is a very good free-throw shooter (87.3%) but he only gets to the line twice a game. That would help in end of game situations where you’re playing keep-away but otherwise, that skill isn’t really benefiting the team.

Contract

While Bertans’ contract is affordable, he’s also on the last year of his deal. After this season Bertans will become an Unrestricted Free Agent (or UFA), meaning he is free to negotiate his next contract with whatever team he wants. It is always a risk trading for UFAs, but sometimes that risk is worth it.

That brings us back to the fact that Bertans is a specialist. A player on an expiring contract who does two or so things really well? Not always a bad trade but those are facts you need to consider when negotiating.

Cost

Finally, there’s the price that Bertans would command. Months ago the Wizards reportedly wanted no less than a First Round Pick in return for Bertans. Again, now many are saying that the team will not trade him and will instead look to resign him in the offseason. If the Sixers are going to trade for Bertans, it will cost them, and the Sixers aren’t loaded with tradable assets.

If Elton Brand decides a trade for Bertans is in the Sixers’ best interest, he must be smart about how he approaches it. The Sixers need to retain as many assets as possible so being frugal is a must for Brand.

Final Word

A trade for Davis Bertans could work out but the price may frankly be too steep. The Sixers also don’t seem to be one piece away either which in my opinion would make a trade for Bertans unwise, but I’m not Elton Brand. Here is an idea of what an acceptable trade might look like:

  • Philadelphia Receives – Davis Bertans
  • Washington Receives – Mike Scott, Jonah Bolden, Philadelphia’s 2022 1st round pick

The issue with this trade is that it may not be enough for the Wizards to part with Bertans. If that is the case the Sixers should part ways no harm, no foul. Driving the price up any more than this would be irresponsible.

If you can think of a reason why the Sixers SHOULD or SHOULDN’T trade for Davis Bertans be sure to leave a comment. We’re one day closer to the deadline, hopefully the Sixers have moves planned.

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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