Knicks Rumors: Davis Bertans Interests NY in FA; Shot 42% from 3 Last Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2020

Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans (42) stands on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Washington. The Warriors won 125-117. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Davis Bertans is among the New York Knicks' targets this offseason, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

The forward is coming off a career year with the Washington Wizards in which he averaged 15.4 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 42.4 percent from beyond the arc.

New York has money to burn with $40.3 million in practical salary-cap space, per Spotrac.

Bertans isn't the only free agent linked with the Knicks. The New York Times' Marc Stein reported they "have been aggressive in their pursuit of Gordon Hayward all week," and the situation remains the same after Hayward opted out of his contract with the Boston Celtics.

Hayward and Bertans don't play the same position, so the front office could hypothetically go after both players if Hayward came in a sign-and-trade.

Bertans could be very helpful to New York on the court. Marcus Morris Sr. was the only player from the 2019-20 roster who shot better than 37 percent on three-pointers, and he got shipped out ahead of the February trade deadline.

However, Bertans' potential salary complicates matters. The Knicks are already paying Julius Randle $18.9 million for 2020-21 and just selected Dayton star Obi Toppin with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

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The Athletic's John Hollinger projected Bertans could command as much as $19 million annually. His ability to stretch the floor makes him a prized commodity, especially in a free-agent market with little top-end talent.

Unless the Knicks can find a taker for Randle, they'd be tying up around $40 million at the power forward position while having a top-10 pick on the roster whose best position is power forward.

Berman noted that head coach Tom Thibodeau "is starting to embrace position-less basketball," implying one of Randle, Bertans and Toppin could operate at small forward. Any of the trio would probably be a liability of defense, though, negating any positive contributions on offense.

Perhaps this signals a willingness from the Knicks to shop Randle, but his contract might require the inclusion of another asset to facilitate any deal.