Davis Bertans will be in the nation’s capital for the foreseeable future. The Latvian sharpshooter agreed to a massive five-year, $80 million contract with the Wizards on Friday. Bertans is coming off a career year in which he averaged personal best 15.4 points per game. He's 42.4% on 8.7 three-point attempts a night, making him one of the most impactful offensive options on the market. Let’s grade the deal.
The Wizards were always going to have to pay a premium for a shooting talent like Bertans. The five-year deal will take the 28-year-old through his prime, and his shooting skill should last much longer than that. According to basketball reference, the Wizards’ offense was 8.3 points per 100 possessions better with Bertans on the floor last season, or roughly the difference between the best and 24th best offenses in the NBA. That’s right, with Bertans on the floor, the Wizards scored at the same pace as the league-best Mavericks. Without him, they plummeted to the bottom-quarter of the league.
A couple slight qualms here, though. Bertans can fit into any system, and his shot will always be coveted. But if the day arrives in which the Wizards are ever looking to move him, the long deal could be a hindrance. (That is, admittedly, an incredibly small nitpick.) On the court, his rebounding and size shortcomings means you need the right frontcourt pieces around him. And Washington still needs to find those players. (Early returns on the Bertans-Rui Hachimura pairing are middling.) At the end of the day, shooting is at a premium now more than ever in the NBA. Bertans excels at a very particular skill, and it happens to be a very special one too. He’s getting paid appropriately for that.