'Tis the season for NBA trade rumors, one of the more entertaining times of year for those who care about such things. One player who will be at the epicenter of the storm that is the trade deadline will be Davis Bertans, the sharpshooting forward currently balling out in Washington. The Wizards are bad, and Bertans is only 27, so there's a possibility they keep him around. But he will be a restricted free agent next season and the Wizards are in a full-on rebuild.
The Wizards' front office previously stated they'll be doing what they can to keep Bertans around, but NBC Sports Washington reports they're taking calls on Bertans leading up to the deadline. He should be in high demand, as he's shooting 43 percent from three on eight and a half attempts per game at 6'10". He's already had a handful of outrageous shooting performances where he looked downright unstoppable. Any championship team could use a player that big who can shoot that well in today's NBA, but here are the teams who make the most sense and have the assets to make a deal. All three teams have reportedly expressed interest already.
The Sixers need shooting, and they need it real bad. Bertans would certainly provide the spacing their offense desperately lacks with Ben Simmons, Al Horford, and Joel Embiid playing major minutes together. He'd buoy their bench and give them all sorts of jumbo lineup arrangements that would actually work given his proficiency from deep. However, they don't own their first-round pick this season, and while they do own the Thunders' 2020 first-rounder, it's protected 1-20, and the Wizards are likely looking for a higher return than Mike Scott and a mid-20s pick for Bertans. If they're willing to part with Scott and Zhaire Smith, the deal could be made, and it would go a long way towards ensuring Philadelphia's (literally) big experiment doesn't go awry.
The Celtics are top five in both offensive and defensive rating while owning the league's third-best record. But the one thing they don't have right now is bench scoring. At all. That hasn't been a massive issue, given their four stars on the wing can have their minutes staggered so one is always on the floor to provide scoring, but taking the offensive load off their shoulders would be beneficial in the long run. If Boston were pushed, they'd probably be willing to offer up Romeo Langford (who has potential but hasn't had the chance to show much this season) along with a solid rotational player like Semi Ojeyele for Bertans' services. The Wiz could also instead push for Boston's Memphis pick, which will convey this year if the Grizzlies end up picking outside the top six or, if it ends up as a top-five lottery selection this year, will be completely unprotected. This move would require Boston to believe they're a sharpshooter away from true championship contention, which is a bit of a tough sell considering they aren't struggling offensively in the big picture, but if Danny Ainge feels that way, they'll be making a call.
Bertans represents the perfect offensive frontcourt player to pair with Nikola Jokic, even if their defense would suffer for it. Denver has enjoyed a recent surge offensively after struggling to start the year but would love a weapon like Bertans to utilize in certain matchups at power forward instead of Jerami Grant or Paul Millsap, both of whom are good players in their own right but aren't exactly threats from deep. Denver also has a pair of young players they likely won't re-sign this summer in Juan Hernangomez and Monte Morris who would greatly intrigue Washington. This is also the only realistic trade that doesn't involve sending Bertans to an Eastern Conference contender, where he could haunt them for years to come.