Recently, a Pounder posted in the comments that the Latvian Laser Davis Bertans had a 32 point game and basically stated that PATFO had screwed up in trading Davis for DeMarre Carroll.
By comparison of this year’s stat lines (as published in basketball-reference.com that argument makes sense.
Davis Bertans is racking up 15. 4 points per game while taking 8.6 threes per game and hitting 43% of them during his 30 minutes per game. DeMarre Carroll is averaging 2.5 points per game during his mostly garbage time 10.1 minutes per game.
But Davis Bertans’ exit was to open up money to bring in Marcus Morris. Now, this is where comparability makes sense. Morris is averaging 3 more points than Bertans in just 1.6 additional minutes. He’s starting games, bringing in fourteen percent more rebounds, and actually hitting more threes than Bertans, although he is taking less shots from beyond the arc.
They match nicely on assists, blocks, and close enough on free throws to be a wash.
The crux of any argument on winners/losers in this scenario lands in Morris’ signing never happening. Marcus Morris bailed after the Spurs gave up Bertans for DeMarre Carroll. Without a commitment from Marcus Morris, the Spurs may have maintained Bertans and acquired Carroll for two years, thus making Trey Lyles the odd man out in this plot.
Unfortunately, Lyles’ stats collate more readily with DeMarre Carroll’s.
There is one major thing to consider here — Davis Bertans in a Washington Wizards uniform may have always fared better than in Silver & Black as Gregg Popovich may not have given Bertans the green light he’s getting from Scott Brooks.
Bertans’ minutes increased every season with the Spurs, but did not look positioned to hit the thirty he’s currently getting.
Either way, the Spurs struggles are not limited to one player. And Bertans was not going to save the good guys from the rough season they have faced.
And the bottom line is, there is no one in San Antonio to “blame” for Bertans’ exit. It was a business decision. One that almost any team interested in a significant upgrade would have made.
As Marilyn Dubinski put it during her visit to the Superfluous Poppycock: “All the moaning about Davis Bertans playing so well for the Wizards and accusing the Spurs of giving him up for nothing just needs to stop. First of all, the fact that they literally gave him up for nothing is false, he was part of a three team deal that brought DeMarre Carroll over. I get that Carroll is not playing the role we hoped he would yet. Sometimes we all have to remember that new players tend to struggle with the Spurs system. It wouldn’t surprise me if later in the season he does find a role . . . The other thing is accusing the front office of messing up with that move is wrong.”
Keep in mind that Carroll also signed a three-year deal which means that Pop and the front office have bigger plans for the eleven-year vet than end of the bench.
So let’s head into the new year wishing well to the two in Spurs jerseys. Trey Lyles and DeMarre Carroll will find their roles and succeed in those respective positions.
The Spurs take on the Dallas Mavericks tonight, so cheer on the good guys as they look to take down another division rival.
Go Spurs Go!
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