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Deal of the Day: Three-Team Trade Sends Bertans to the Bucks

Detroit is enlisted to facilitate and Washington gets two players.

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Deal of the Day 11.12, Salary cap rules may be bent but hopefully not broken.

Today’s Deal: Milwaukee Nabs Davis Bertans in three-team Trade

The Deal is still tired. The Deal must go on. With the nebulous news of potential sign-and-trade offers for Wizards free agent Davis Bertans bubbling up, it’s time to dive back in.

The Washington Wizards sign-and-trade Davis Bertans to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Wizards trade center Moritz Wagner ($2.1 million) to the Detroit Pistons. Bertans’ contract with the Bucks: four years and $72 million. His deal counts as $9 million outgoing for the Wizards.

Washington outgoing salaries are calculated as $11.1 million x 1.25 plus $100,000. That means they can take back up to $13.975 million in the transaction.

The Pistons wait until he exercises his player option and then trade guard/forward Tony Snell ($12 million) and forward Svi Mykhailiuk ($1.6 million) to the Wizards. They combine to make $13.8 million next season. As I write this, it’s Snell’s 29th birthday.

The Milwaukee Bucks send point guard Eric Bledsoe ($16.8 million) to the Detroit Pistons.

Another version of this works with the Bucks sending Ersan Ilyasova (non-guaranteed for 2020) and George Hill (small guarantee in 2022).

Why do the Bucks do the deal?

The Greek Freak demands improvements after the Buck’s playoff exit. They acquire a shooting freak in Bertans. Milwaukee is going to look radically different than the 2019-20 season. It has to find upgrades or risk setting the stage for a Giannis departure.

Why do the Pistons do the deal?

I believe it was Jeremy Woo at Sports Illustrated who mentioned that Detroit is open to using their cap space to facilitate deals in exchange for assets. Draft picks were intentionally kept out of this scenario so we can evaluate the deals as is and then figure out what picks go where.

In a deal where they acquire Bledsoe, it feels less likely for Detroit to also collect a pick such as Milwaukee’s 2021 first rounder. In scenario two the Bucks send Hill and unguaranteed salary (Ilyasova). If deals need to be guaranteed to get the trade done, it makes sense for the Pistons to get a Milwaukee first round pick. I see no scenario where Washington would include a pick.

Why do the Wizards do the deal?

The front office must be up against it, faced with losing Bertans for nothing if they don’t re-sign him. While Milwaukee can’t sign him outright, other teams can. So the option is to let him go for nothing or devise a trade to one of his preferred teams.

I talked about Snell when he came up during the DOA Blake Griffin for John Wall Trade.

“I like Snell. He’s 6-6 and shot 40% from three. I wish he didn’t make $12 million but here we are.”

Here we are indeed. The rare Deal self-quote. Because we’re all tired.

Snell played mostly small forward last season in Detroit, starting 57 of 59 games. While his defense is solid he’s not, in any way, a “wing stopper.” He’s a brick in a new defensive wall. A solid help defender. Snell shot 40% from long range on four takes per game. Think that goes up under Scott Brooks? I do!

Svi Mykhailiuk was selected 47th overall by the Lakers in the 2018 draft. They traded him to Detroit with a 2021 second round pick for Reggie Bullock. The 6-7 Ukrainian is in this deal for one specific reason: shooting — a career 38.5% three-point shooter. Last season he hit 40.4% from downtown.

Look, neither of these players is Bertans. Then again, Bertans wasn’t Bertans until he got the ultimate green light in DC. They’re both good shooters is what I’m saying. One of them improves team defense. Mykhailiuk is still developing with a “now skill”. The Wizards will have the option of a small qualifying offer on him after the 2021 season. That’s one sure-fire rotation player and one specialist, at worst.

The Wizards would need to fill in for Bertans’ share of the deep shots with quality and quantity if he heads north. No word yet on where RFA Garrison Mathews stands with the team. The roster would be considerably, uh, short on distance accuracy when you also factor in the trade deadline exits of Jordan McRae and Isaiah Thomas.

Without Bertans the Wizards would be down to one (1) above league average three-point shooter, Thomas Bryant. In this scenario they gain two. The deal can’t be official until transaction moratorium ends, which will be after the draft. No 2020 draft picks will be involved.

The team could know they aren’t re-signing him before draft night and plan accordingly. Does Jordan Nwora become a candidate for the 37th pick if he’s still available?

Any Bertans exit creates more questions than it does answers.

The Wizards would still have use of the MLE and the BAE while staying a couple million under the luxury tax threshold of $132 million.

Wizards would have #9 (Okongwu) #37 (Devon Dotson) the MLE and the BAE:

  • John Wall - Ish Smith - Shabazz Napier (UFA)
  • Bradley Beal - Troy Brown Jr. - Jerome Robinson - Garrison Mathews (RFA)
  • Tony Snell - Svi Mykhailiuk - Admiral Schofield
  • Rui Hachimura - Isaac Bonga
  • Thomas Bryant - __________ - Anzejs Pasecniks (camp guarantee)


If Bertans is leaving, do we try to bring value back in a sign and trade?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Yes, we’re going to need a bunch of shooters.
    (73 votes)
  • 45%
    Yes but not this deal. Is this really all we should expect in return?
    (187 votes)
  • 34%
    No, not interested in these players.
    (141 votes)
  • 3%
    No, If he wants to leave he can. We don’t have to help him go to a playoff team.
    (13 votes)
414 votes total Vote Now

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