LAS VEGAS — After trading Otto Porter Jr. in February and letting Bobby Portis walk in free agency, the Wizards were left with a glaring need for outside shooting in an era where three-pointers have never been more important. But in the last 24 hours, the team has made a pair of moves to shore up that weakness in a major way.
On Friday, they traded for veteran forward C.J. Miles. And on Saturday, they brought in Davis Bertans in a deal with the San Antonio Spurs.
Miles has some question marks because his percentages have dropped off in recent years. Bertans, though, comes to Washington as a certified sniper. He is legitimately one of the best three-point shooting big men in the NBA.
A three-year NBA vet, Bertans holds a 40.4 three-point percentage for his career. Last season, he knocked down 42.9 percent on 4.4 attempts per game.
Only seven players shot at least that clip on as many attempts per game. Meyers Leonard is the only other big man.
Bertans, 26, is arguably now the Wizards’ most consistent outside shooter. He can’t create his own shot like Bradley Beal can, but he makes threes at a higher clip.
Bertans could slide right into the Wizards’ starting lineup. He would work nicely next to Thomas Bryant at power forward. They wouldn’t be able to do much on defense, but they would provide a lot of spacing on offense.
With Mo Wagner also in the mix, the Wizards now have three big men who can knock down threes, all Age 26 or younger. There is also rookie Rui Hachimura, who projects as a stretch-four at the next level.
Speaking of Hachimura and Wagner, Bertans helps take some pressure off them to contribute big minutes right away. And given Bertans will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, he may not stand in their way for long.
Here’s how the Wizards’ rotation could stack up as of now:
PG – Ish Smith
SG – Bradley Beal
SF – C.J. Miles
PF – Davis Bertans
C – Thomas Bryant
Key bench players: F Rui Hachimura, G Isaiah Thomas, G Jordan McRae, G/F Troy Brown Jr., C Mo Wagner
That’s not bad. It probably won’t get them to the playoffs because of defensive limitations, but they could be a competitive group with long-term upside.
There is also a bit of a drop-off at point guard, but the Wizards have Wall returning possibly by the end of the 2019-20 season. When he comes back, he will have a lot of shooters to pass to.
The Wizards could spread the floor with Beal, Miles, Bertans, and Bryant while Wall dribbles through traffic looking for whoever is open. Wall isn’t great from the three-point line, but the best way to mitigate that is by surrounding him with shooters. It’s a tactic that worked really well with the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo this last season.
Wall hasn’t often enjoyed a big man who can hit threes. Now he has several of them.
Getting Bertans was another minor, but smart move by the Wizards this offseason. Once again, their future looks a little bit more promising.
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