Sharpshooting big men are very hard to come by in the NBA. No I’m not talking about star players like Karl-Anthony Towns, and Al Horford, but actual sharpshooters that you don’t hear people accrediting about as much. Power Forwards or Centers who can come onto the court (as a starter or a bench player) and jack 5-10 threes a night and go to sleep with a smile on their face are the exact kind of players championship contenders need. Take a team like the Sixers for example. A teams expected to go far in the playoffs, and they have a bad bench. With the Sixers free agency loss of lights out shooter JJ Redick, a guy like Davis Bertans or Nemanja Bjelica (Who Philly were supposed to sign in 2017 but Nemanja chickened out) would be a game changing addition to the roster.
Nemanja Bjelica averages 11.7 points per game, while shooting 47.9 percent from the field, and 42.6 percent from three. He only plays about 27 minutes per game on a Sacramento team that hasn’t quite figured out if they should be tanking, or making a playoff push. On the most recent Kings back to back, Bjelica had a 30 point game against the Mavericks, and a 17 point game against the rockets which included a last second buzzer beater to win the game. Bjelica is also an underrated rebounder averaging 6.8 rebounds per game.
Davis Bertans is another underrated three point specialist as last year on the spurs, he was one of the best three point shooters but not allowed to go into the All-Star Weekend three point contest because he wasn’t a star, and he didn’t bring attraction to the contest. Players like Dirk Nowitzki, Seth Curry, and Kemba Walker all worse statistical shooters, but all bring more people to the stadium and more clicks online. Bertans shot 45 percent from three last year and then he got traded from the Spurs in order for them to make cap space for Marcus Morris (Sorry Davis, they didn’t even get him). Now playing on a struggling Wizards team, Bertans has flourished in a less restricted role as he plays 28 minutes a game and is currently shooting 46.5 percent from three on 8.6 attempts a game, compared to last years 4.4 attempts a game.
Contending teams looking for one more piece to push them over the top should look at these kind of guys. Miami already have Duncan Robinson, and the Lakers have Danny Green so they’re already set. Teams like Toronto, Philly, and Dallas should seriously look at these guys as cheaper alternative options. A trade package could include a struggling young player with promise (Zhaire Smith for example), a role player (Mike Scott), and a 2nd round pick. I think these guys will both be on the move as their teams are struggling at the moment.