According to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, the New York Knicks are expected to pursue Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans in NBA free agency. Hughes says the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns are also expected to make a push, with the Hawks being “particularly aggressive.”
Bertans, 27, played a career-high 29.3 minutes per contest in his debut season with the Wizards this season. Coming off the bench for all but four of his 54 games, he averaged 15.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 42.4 percent from beyond the arc.
The Wizards acquired Bertans last summer in a three-team trade with the San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets; Washington received Bertans; San Antonio received DeMarre Carroll; Brooklyn received the draft rights to Aaron White.
The Spurs traded Bertans to clear cap space to sign free-agent forward Marcus Morris, who was reportedly signing a two-year deal. Morris then changed his mind, signing a one-year deal with the Knicks. He was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers at the 2020 NBA trade deadline.
An NBA source tells Hughes that Washington has made re-signing Bertans, who he says could receive a contract between $15-20 million per season, “a top offseason priority.”
The Knicks could have upwards of $40 million in cap space this offseason depending on what they do with the team options they hold on a handful of veterans for the 2020-21 NBA season. They also have their own first-round draft pick (8), the Clippers’ first-rounder (27), which was part of their return on Morris, and the Charlotte Hornets’ second-rounder (38).
Bertans could theoretically be the Knicks’ starting power forward. A career 41.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc, he could stretch the floor for new head coach Tom Thibodeau’s offense. Bertans could also come off the bench, subbing in for the incumbent Julius Randle, who’s one season through a three-year, $62 million deal.