Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Davis Bertans


After one fringe first round international prospect pulled out of the draft at the last minute in Lucas Nogueira, another, Davis Bertans, decided to stay in. That might mean Bertans has a first round guarantee and, thus, will not be on the board when the Pistons pick in the second round, but if he falls to them, his upside might intrigue the Pistons.


Measurables: 6-foot-10, 210 pounds 18-year-old F from Latvia

Key stats: 4.0 points, 1.2 rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent in the Adriatic League

Projected: Late first/early second round

How would he help the Pistons?

Although Bertans is tall, he’s projected as a perimeter player. If the Pistons land him with their second round pick, he has a couple things going for him. First, in the event of a lockout, there’s a chance the Pistons could convince him to stay overseas. Taking a player with Bertans with that pick and stashing him overseas in the hope that he gets bigger and improves might be a more wise strategy than taking a player who will compete for a roster spot immediately. It’s already hard for second round picks to make NBA rosters. A lockout could make it even harder this season.

Second, he’s versatile. If Joe Dumars has shown any kind of recent pattern, it’s that he is high on players who are multi-skilled and can play more than one position (note: some cynics out there would say it’s maybe a better strategy to find players who play just one position well rather than players who are average at two or three positions, but I digress). Bertans, who shot well over 40 percent from 3-point range, fits that profile. Bertans is also trending up some. He reportedly out-performed Donatas Motiejunas, who was once projected as a lottery pick, in a workout.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

A skinny, nearly 7-foot, position-less, skilled offensive wing player? We’re taking about Austin Daye, right? The Pistons already have a Bertans clone on the roster, and the team is now two years into figuring out exactly how to use Daye effectively. His shooting stroke is beautiful and he can put it on the floor and has even flashed a mid-range game, but his defensive struggles and lack of strength against stronger perimeter players have hampered his development. Those are things Bertans will have to overcome to crack a NBA rotation as well.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

"Part of this will come with added strength, as he has a very narrow frame that makes it difficult for him to play through contact at the moment. This makes sense considering that he grew almost eight inches (20 centimeters) over the last two years, according to what he told us, so he’s obviously still growing into his new dimensions. It will be important for him to continue to refine his shot-creating ability so he doesn’t get labeled as a one dimensional prospect down the road."

From ESPN:

"Bertans burst onto the scene with a strong performance in the practices of the Nike Hoop Summit. His actual game performance wasn’t particularly great. Turns out that the same was true here at Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy. Bertans did a workout in front of NBA scouts and teams on Sunday and played pretty well. Of the three workouts here, he was, by far, the best. He hit shots, made plays, and showed that he was a better athlete than we give him credit for. While he didn’t shoot the lights out (which was a disappointment given his rep as a sharpshooter) he looked good."

From Euro Hopes:

"Long small-foward, can shoot easily and good athleticism, allowing finish his actions over the basket with very long and fluid moves. Davis likes to take the shot, out of the dribble, on catch and shoot situations or even on the fast break. He can attack the basket using good ball handling for a player of his size."