San Antonio Spurs ship forward Davis Bertans to Washington

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24: San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks with Davis Bertans #42 of the San Antonio Spurs at TD Garden on March 24, 2019 (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24: San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks with Davis Bertans #42 of the San Antonio Spurs at TD Garden on March 24, 2019 (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /
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In an unsuspected cap-clearing move, the San Antonio Spurs shipped Latvian forward Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards.

After three years studying under the guidance of Gregg Popovich, 26-year-old forward Davis Bertans is on to the next phase of his career. The San Antonio Spurs shipped the Latvian Laser off to the Wizards in a cap-saving move that allowed them to complete their restructured three-year deal for DeMarre Carroll.

Bertans was an integral role player for the Spurs last season, averaging eight points and 3.5 rebounds on 45 percent shooting from the field and 42.9 percent shooting from deep. Known throughout the league for his sharpshooting ability, Bertans has worked tirelessly to add slashing elements and improved defense both on and off the ball to his arsenal.

Although he showed excellent chemistry with star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan in their lone season together, general manager R.C. Buford opted to trend toward defensive-minded players and veteran leadership heading into next season.

Spurs are finalizing a trade to send F Davis Bertans to the Wizards, league sources tell ESPN. Bertans will be absorbed into an exception, allowing Spurs to complete deal for DeMarre Carroll.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019

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A deciding factor for Buford in moving Bertans to the East was his poor playoff performance against the Denver Nuggets this year. Popovich determined him unplayable because of his defensive deficiencies and benched him during crucial moments of the postseason. For as valuable as he made himself in the regular season, Bertans’ value diminished after the All-Star break when his shooting percentages dipped drastically.

Moving on from Bertans allowed the Spurs to clear cap space needed to complete their deal for Carroll as well as sign former Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris to a two-year contract. San Antonio is moving toward a hard-nosed group with physically daunting players. Toughness is one thing that the Spurs sorely lacked last season and for as skilled as he is, Bertans is in no way physically daunting.

The draft selection of Luka Samanic signaled the beginning of the end for the Latvian Laser, now the team has made Bertans’ departure official. He’ll be remembered as a likeable hard worker in San Antonio with three-point prowess that will certainly be missed.

Next. Three Spurs that could be traded this offseason

Say what you want about Bertans, but he was one of the Spursiest players to come through the team in quite some time and he’ll be missed.

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