Washington Wizards

NBA trade rumors: Davis Bertans reportedly might not be available

NBA trade rumors: Davis Bertans reportedly might not be available

“The Latvian Laser” might not be for sale.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, the Wizards haven’t been listening to offers for sharpshooter Davis Bertans. 

“Inquiries to Washington have gone nowhere; several executives tell SI.com that the Wizards wouldn’t even discuss a deal,” Mannix reports. “Some teams, though, are holding out hope Washington will make Bertans available before the trade deadline."

NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor and Mannix have all reported that the Sixers have interest in Bertans, who’s shot 42.6 percent from three on 8.7 attempts per game. That’s the best percentage in the league among players who have attempted at least eight threes per contest. 

Hughes reported on Jan. 6 that the Wizards were “fielding calls” for Bertans despite general manager Tommy Sheppard saying the team had “every intention of retaining” the forward in free agency. The Celtics, Lakers, Hawks and Nuggets are also suitors for Bertans, according to Hughes.

Bertans is making $7 million this season but looks set to earn substantially more when he becomes a free agent. The Wizards hold Bertans’ Bird Rights after landing him in a trade this summer, which means they could go over the salary cap to re-sign him.

The trade deadline isn’t until Feb. 6, so it’s certainly possible that the Wizards will be open for business when it really matters. It seems that it would make sense to at least consider offers. 

Regardless, Bertans is an attractive player for the Sixers, and for contending teams in general who want an elite shooter. 

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Remember Anžejs Pasečņiks? 2017 1st-round pick is reportedly getting an NBA contract with the Wizards

Remember Anžejs Pasečņiks? 2017 1st-round pick is reportedly getting an NBA contract with the Wizards

Remember Anžejs Pasečņiks?

The 7-foot-1 Latvian center, acquired by the Sixers in a 2017 draft-night trade, had his rights renounced this summer. Now, he’s having his two-way contract with the Wizards converted to an NBA deal, according to The Washington Post’s Candace Buckner

Bryan Colangelo, then the Sixers’ president of basketball operations, gave the Magic a 2020 protected first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick in 2017 after Orlando originally selected Pasečņiks at No. 25. 

The Sixers decided to renounce Pasečņiks’ rights on July 1 because he intended to play in the NBA this season and they didn’t think it would have made contractual sense as they worked on completing their bench, a team source told NBC Sports Philadelphia at the time. Pasečņiks had been playing for Herbalife Gran Canaria in Spain's ACB.

He’s averaged 8.2 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Wizards this season in 13 games, plus 10.5 points and 4.9 rebounds for the G League’s Capital City Go-Go. The Wizards have been struck by a high volume of injuries this season, which has given Pasečņiks more NBA opportunities than he likely would have had otherwise.

Though the 24-year-old Pasečņiks has earned an NBA contract with Washington, that doesn’t suggest the Sixers made the wrong decision in renouncing his rights. They’re deeper at center than the 13-25 Wizards and clearly have placed a greater priority on immediate contention. 

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Isaiah Thomas explains why he went into stands to confront Sixers fan

Isaiah Thomas explains why he went into stands to confront Sixers fan

The Sixers overcame the zone defense and took care of business against the Wizards, but that’s not the story from Saturday night.

What happened in a confrontation between Washington guard Isaiah Thomas and a fan was equal parts weird and quintessential Philly sports.

With 3:06 left in the fourth and the game no longer in doubt, Thomas stepped to the line for two. The only drama left for the sellout crowd was whether Thomas would miss both free throws and earn fans a free Frosty from Wendy’s through the team’s “Frosty Freeze Out” promotion.

Thomas missed the first, raising the crowd to a fever pitch. Then Thomas sank the second, denying the crowd the free frozen treat. During the ensuing timeout, there was a commotion near the Wizards’ bench. It was announced shortly after that Thomas had been ejected for “going into the stands.”

After the game, he explained what happened.

So when I missed the first free throw, and made the second, I'm running back and the fan has both of his middle fingers up and said, 'f--- you, b----,' three times. So then the timeout goes and I go into the stands to confront him. I say, 'don't be disrespectful,' that calm [as I'm saying it now]. I'm a man before anything, and be a fan. And his response was, 'I'm sorry, I just wanted a Frosty.'

Well, that’s certainly a new one.

What apparently bothered Thomas most was the use of the “B-word.” Was that worth going into the crowd, getting ejected and facing a possible suspension?

In Thomas’ eyes, it was.

The league has drawn a hard line on players entering the stands, especially after the infamous “Malice in the Palace.” He’s hoping the league will hear his side of things and not take any additional disciplinary action.

I mean, Philly fans ... you know how Philly fans are. But that doesn't bother me. When you say that, the B-word, that's not OK. Because if I'm on the street, you won't ever say that if I'm right next to you. So that's not OK on any level. And I will not be disrespected like that. Fans can say whatever they want — don't talk about my family and don't say that word.

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