Wizards’ Davis Bertans to skip NBA restart in Orlando

As the NBA’s restart looms, Wizards forward Davis Bertans will be skipping a trip to Orlando.

The NBA has set a deadline of Wednesday for players to opt-out of the season restart in Orlando, and the first known player has made a decision to sit. According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim Bontemps of ESPN, Wizards forward Davis Bertans will not be making the trip to Florida with the team.

Why did Davis Bertans opt-out of finishing the NBA season with the Wizards?

Bertans is a looming free agent, with two ACL injuries in his career. He has had the best season of his career for Washington this year, averaging 15.4 points per game on 42.4 percent shooting from 3-point range (8.7 attempts per game). He is a solid candidate for Most Improved Player, as well as Sixth Man of the Year.

As an organization the Wizards are supportive of Bertans’ decision not to play, and per Wojnarowski’s sources they are determined to sign him in free agency.

The Wizards will head to Orlando 5.5 games behind the eighth-place Orlando Magic in the East, and six games behind the seventh-place Brooklyn Nets. They will have to get within four games of eighth place to qualify for play-in games, then beat that eighth-place team twice to get a matchup with the top seed Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs.

As expected, the Wizards can sign a player to replace Bertans on their roster. And naturally, he will forfeit some money by sitting out.

When weighed against what he’s in line to collect as a free agent, $605,000 (rounding up) for what is most likely left of Washington’s season is a worthy sacrifice for Bertans. His health concerns are probably a little different than those of a lot of other players, but why risk another major injury in a chunk of ultimately meaningless games for his team?

Bertans is the first known player to decide to skip the NBA’s restart in Orlando. But he surely won’t be the last, and it’s worth wondering if some big names will sit out.

Next: 5 teams with most to lose in 2020 NBA free agency

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