BallinEurope’s man in the U.K., Sam Chadwick, feels a little bad about a slightly harsh assessment given to Davis Bertans on this website and so today takes a broader look at the current Union Olimpija forward and second-round 2011 draft pick.
Name: Davis Bertans
Club: Union Olimpija
Height: 6’11” (2.10 meters)
Age: 18 (born November 1992)
In my draft review of Jonas Valanciunas, I feel I was a little harsh on Davis Bertans, considering he was only a second-round pick while Valanciunas was taken at no. 5 overall; the two also have completely different roles, as Jonas is going to a team (the Toronto Raptors) where he will need to be one of their best players whereas Bertans is someone the San Antonio Spurs will give plenty of time to develop because he’s not needed straight away.
Bertans, like many other Spurs big men, will be allowed to continue his development in Europe, where he will continue to face tough opposition in both league play and the Euroleague: He will follow in the path of Tiago Splitter and Ryan Richards; however, unlike these two, he is unlikely to play PF/C, for at 6’11”, Bertans is more of a small forward and a pretty big one at that.
If Bertans can continue his development as well as many scouts are predicting, he could be the next Kyle Korver but taller, a legit 6’11” forward who can drain threes while also able to provide some inside/post game and a little rebounding to go along with it.
At the FIBA Under-19 World Championships, Davis didn’t exactly kill it but played well, performing like a second-round draft pick who could potentially be a great role player and a work in progress. Let’s look at his stats compared to Team USA shooting guard Jeremy Lamb.
Davis Bertans: 15.2 points; 6.2 rebounds; 1.6 assists per game; 36.7% overall field-goal shooting; 46.7% two-point shooting; 26.7% three-point shooting; 75.0% free-throw shooting; 0.5 blocks per game.
Jeremy Lamb: 16.2 ppg; 4.3 rpg; 2.0 apg; 42.1%, 46.2%, 29.4%, 78.3% shooting; 0.3 bpg.
Breaking down those numbers, we see that Lamb averaged one point more than Davis and also shot 5.7% better from the field, but Davis actually had a better two-point field goal percentage at 46.7%, and it was only his three-point shooting that really let him down, connecting on just 26.7% for a 6’11” kid who scored on a total 16 of 60 attempts; compare this with Lamb, a 6’5” shooting guard who connected on just 29.4% of his threes.
At the free throw line, the comparisons are again similar, with Bertans hitting 75% and Lamb 78.3%; now, guards are supposed to be great free-throw shooters, whereas 6’11” big men are notoriously bad in this area.
Lastly come rebounds and, yes, shooting guards don’t get many and, yes, big men are supposed to dominate the boards, but Davis is just as much a wing player as Lamb, so the majority of his playing time is spent outside the key and outside the three-point line, so Bertans’ 6.2 rebounds per game is certainly a positive.
Bertans shows signs of being a little inconsistent: In some games, he shot well from beyond the arc, in some he shot well from nowhere; in others, he dominated the boards. In short, if Bertans can just continue to develop his game and work on consistency, he will be a great pickup for the Spurs.
One day, I’m sure Davis will develop into a great role player in the NBA.
Sam Chadwick is a university student, part-time sportswriter and a coach in the Solent Kestrels organization.
Tags: Davis Bertans, Euroleague, FIBA U19 World Championship, Jeremy Lamb, Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Korver, Latvia, NBA, Ryan Richards, San Antonio Spurs, Solent Kestrels, Team Latvia, Team USA, Tiago Splitter, Toronto Raptors, Union Olimpija