“I’ve only been here two weeks. The team is young and full of energy, everyone is working hard,” said the 30-year-old Bertan, who was traded from the Dallas Mavericks to the Thunder in late June. “It’s nice to be with younger basketball players who give me energy too.”
As stated by the Latvian player, whose role in the team and possible playing time is not clear, he does not think about it. “It never bothered me,” Bertan said. “My job is to come to training and work hard every day. If I get on the field I will do everything in my power.”
Bertāns also expressed his joy that he will be able to work again with coach Chip Engeland, who was one of the coaches in the Latvian’s first team in the league San Antonio “Spurs”. The American specialist is a shooting coach who in 2018/2019. helped Bertans achieve 42.9% accuracy from the long-throw line in the 2018 season.
“I’m glad we’re on the same team again,” Bertan said about the coach. “He is undoubtedly one of the best pitching coaches in the world.”
In recent seasons, Bertan’s accuracy from long range has declined, but there is an explanation for this. As Bertans pointed out, it was easier in the first years in the league, because the opponents did not pay so much attention to him. When they started to do that, opportunities appeared for the Latvian to help partners who became more free on the court and could play on them.
Last season, 30-year-old Bertans played 45 games as part of the Dallas team, spending an average of 10.9 minutes on the court, scoring 4.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.5 assists, as well as making three-point shots with 39% accuracy. .
Bertans still has two years left on his contract signed in 2020. 2023/2024 in the season of 2024/2025 he will receive 17 million US dollars, but in 2024/2025 per season, his salary, depending on the additional conditions, can be from five to 16 million dollars.
After being traded from the Washington “Wizards”, where he spent two and a half years, Bertan played in the Dallas team for the last season and a half. In the first three seasons of his career in the NBA, Bertans played for Sanatonio “Spurs”.