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Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard on Davis Bertans: ‘We intend to keep him’

Wizards forward Davis Bertans

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05: Davis Bertans #42 of the Washington Wizards reacts against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first half at Capital One Arena on December 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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Davis Bertans’ combination of volume (8.5 attempts per game) and efficiency (45.6%) on 3-pointers is unprecedented in NBA history.

He’s also on an expiring contract and on a bad Wizards team.

That of course leads to speculation about teams trading for Bertans this season or signing him next summer.

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard on “Off The Bench” podcast:

We have every intention of retaining him. He’s the exact kind of player that we want to have in our organization. I think he wants to be here. Business will take care of itself. But in terms of, there’s so much chit-chat in this league that gets out there. And most of it is contrived by the teams that would love to have Davis. Well, guess what? One of the teams that would have to have him, has him. And we intend to keep him. So, we’re excited about his growth.

We’re less than a year removed from Wizards owner Ted Leonsis saying they wouldn’t trade Otto Porter then doing so anyway. Sheppard didn’t run the front office at that point, but Washington doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

At least the Wizards control whether they’ll trade Bertans. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer. He can sign wherever he wants, and plenty of teams could use a sharpshooter like him.

Maybe Washington will make the best offer. But the Wizards also owe big money to John Wall and Bradley Beal. Re-signing Bertans could make this team quite expensive and not necessarily good.

It’s unsurprising Washington would convey a plan to keep Bertans. If it’s true, it’s true. If it’s not, that’s the way to maximize his trade value.

But Sheppard didn’t have to go out of his way to put it so strongly publicly. That he did says something.