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Davis Bertans: The NBA’s best three-point shooter you’ve never heard of

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He belongs on everyone’s fantasy team.

USA TODAY Sports/Peter Rogers Illustrations

There are 115 players in the NBA this season who average four, or more, three-point attempts per game.

There are 19 players in the NBA this season who average 4+ three-point attempts and have a 40+ three-point percentage.

Four of those 19 players also average 49+ percent from the field overall.

There are 285 players this season (who’ve played in at least 10 games) who have averaged 5+ field goal attempts per game.

There are 61 players who average 5+ field goal attempts per game and have a 50+ field goal percentage.

Only two players in the NBA this season qualify for all 5 lists above: Tobias Harris of the Los Angeles Clippers and... Davis Bertans, the Latvian Spur of San Antone.

Tobias Harris has been magnificent all season. He’s averaging 21 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and extremely nice shooting ratios. He’s shooting 15 times a game, just a little bit less than Luka Doncic, and a little bit more than Nikola Jokic. He’s the 16th best fantasy player in ESPN basic. He is absolutely a stud. Given his volume and his efficiency, it’s not surprising to see that Tobias trails only Giannis, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and LaMarcus Aldridge for value in points and FG%.

Meanwhile, down by the Alamo, Davis Bertans has been quietly shooting the lights out in his his third year in the NBA (all on the Spurs). So, who is Davis Bertans?

Bertanis is a 6’10” power forward (if that even means anything, anymore), 26 years old, and was a second round pick in 2011. He’s improved each of his three years in the league, but this year he’s finally averaging 20+ minutes per game, and the counting stats have increased along with his minutes: more points, more shot attempts, more boards, more dimes, more steals, more blocks, and better shooting ratios. In fact, his shooting ratios are better than anyone else in the NBA. Out of all players who average 20+ MPG this season (237), Davis Bertans is the ONLY PLAYER WITH A 70+ TRUE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE. The next closest is Steph Goddamn Curry with a 66.9 true shooting percentage. As the scientists say, holy shit!

Since December 1st, Bertans is sixth in minutes on the Spurs. He’s shooting 52% from three since December 1st. 70 players are averaging 5+ three-point attempts per game since 12/1, and only 18 of those players are shooting better than 40% on those threes. Buddy Hield is number two over that span with 47.2% from three. First place is Davis Bertans with 52.7%.

Now, he’s only 7th in total threes made since December began (a function of his lower number of shots than the volume shooters), but the Spurs shoot threes less than any other team. When they do shoot a three, that MFer better go in. NO ONE ELSE in the NBA is making that happen more efficiently than Davis Bertans. And he’s the only one in the top 10 who’s playing less than 25 minutes per game! He and Marco Belinelli have been invaluable to the Spurs in spacing the floor and letting their mid-range marvels make shots that hardly anyone else in the NBA is taking, much less making. Imagine if Bertans were given 30 minutes per game...

How does this translate to fantasy? Sadly, not as well as you’d think.

While Bertans has five made threes in each of his past two games (he doesn’t qualify for the three-point competition during All-Star weekend even though GET REAL, HE’S ONE OF THE BEST IN THE GAME RIGHT NOW, JUST PUT HIM IN, ADAM SILVER, WHAT’S THE POINT OF BEING COMMISH IF YOU CAN’T RIGHT WRONGS?!), his PR on the season is still firmly in the 100-150 range. However, over the past month he’s been a solid top 75 guy. He isn’t scoring as many points as you’d like, but, just like for the Spurs, he’s scoring those points with an elite and valuable efficiency. He’s been nearly as valuable as Domantas Sabonis over the past month, and he’s shot 40 fewer times. Bertans is a PF who’s getting you elite field goal percentage like a center and elite three-pointers made like an outside specialist. Lauri Markkanen, the stretch PF for the Bulls, has 36 made threes over the past month shooting 44% ; Bertans has 37 threes at 51%.

Oh yeah, one more thing: Bertans is the LOWEST OWNED PLAYER IN THE TOP 100 OVER THE PAST MONTH. He’s less than two percent owned in ESPN! He’s basically as close to being free as you can get, and he’s worth the pick up. If his shooting falls off a cliff (nothing suggests that it will), then what have you really lost? A cheap player in a streaming roster spot? Get real.

Davis Bertans is one of the best, most efficient shooters in the NBA this season. He doesn’t score a ton (though, his points per game are increasing), which is why you haven’t heard of him. But his role will probably increase as the season goes along—he’s been too helpful in spacing the floor for the Spurs mid-rangers and you need some players to shoot from outside if you want any hope of advancing in the playoffs—and if you’re looking for a waiver wire add to help you fill your roster due to injury, then please oh please, look Davis Bertans’ way. His upside is tremendous, and his downside is surprisingly solid.

All stats courtesy of NBA.com, Basketball-Reference.com, and ESPN.com.