The Wizards have signed a shooter, potentially. We don’t know how much said shooter will contribute next season, if at all. We don’t even know if he was the “best” option on the market. We just know that at some point or another, he has shot the ball through the net at varying degrees of success. So let’s start with a song, Heath Brothers – Smiling Billy Suite Pt. 2… (recognize this?)
When reports surfaced that the Wizards might be set at 13 players, and that they weren’t willing to pay anyone more than the veteran minimum salary anyway, this was the gist of the message: “We like Roger Mason and James Singleton, but they didn’t want to play for the one-year vet’s minimum; they are now gone. Agents, if you have a worthy client who wants a job and will play for the minimum, holler at us.”
Names still surfaced, names of those hungry to stay in the league: Anthony Tolliver, Michael Redd, Terrence Williams, Shawne Williams, and Martell Webster.
Per report of the Washington Post’s Michael Lee, Webster will soon be inked to a league minimum contract as Wizard No. 14 for 2012-13. Lee also writes:
Webster has battled injuries since signing a four-year, $20 million extension with the Blazers in October 2008. He played just one game because of a broken left foot in 2008-09 and has had at least three back procedures in the past two years. He was slated to earn $5.7 million next season but Minnesota waived him with a $600,000 buyout.
Clearly Webster is a low-risk insurance option for a team desperate for assistance from 3-point range, which is ‘the’ feature experience on Webster’s resume. Sure, Martell might need a backiotomy, and he might need to talk to Sampson, but for a guy who will turn 26 in December with just under 400 games of NBA experience under his belt (Webster entered the league out of high school), he might be the best, potentially most significant option the Wizards could take. More on the shooting…
Prior to drafting Bradley Beal, I wrote this on Truth About It.net:
Other than Mike Miller’s .480 from the 3-point arc in 2009-10, the last Wizards players to shoot above .410 in a season (while attempting at least 100 threes) were Hubert Davis, Tyronn Lue and Chris Whitney, all in 2001-02.
Other than Mike Miller, team president Ernie Grunfeld’s best 3-point shooters in the last five years have been Nick Young, Roger Mason, Kirk Hinrich, DeShawn Stevenson and Mike James.
In 2010-11, Webster played 46 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 23.8 minutes off the bench (he started one game). He attempted 132 3-pointers (4.3 per 36 minutes) and made 55 of them for a percentage of .417. On 3-point attempts from the corners, Webster shot 25-for-47 (.523 percent).
In the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, Webster appeared in 47 games with Minnesota (started 26), averaged 24.3 minutes per contest, attempted 109 3-pointers (3.4 per 36 minutes), and made 37 of them (a drop to .339 from deep). He finished 16-for-40 on corner 3-point attempts (.400 percent). Do note that Webster’s Effective Field-Goal Percentage (eFG%) stood at .520 percent in 32 appearances before the All-Star break last season and dipped to .415 percent in 15 games after.
One glaring catch: Webster’s career 5.8 Assist Percentage is below Nick Young’s career 7.2 percent. But also like Young, Webster doesn’t turn the ball over a lot. When he played in all 82 games in 2009-10 with Portland (where he shot .373 from 3-point land), Webster finished with the seventh lowest Turnover Percentage (TOV%) in the NBA at 7.8.
But Webster won’t be a featured scorer like Young, and with the contract that he’s signed, there’s not even a guarantee that he will make it through training camp.
Webster has size (6-foot-7) and is capable of being an adequate defender. He allowed 0.84 Points Per Possession (PPP) in 2011-12 (via mysynergysports.com), ranked 199th in the NBA; 0.95 PPP in 2010-11 and 0.94 in 2009-10 — check Bullets Forever for a further scouting report. One interesting thing about Webster’s defense is that opponent TOV% actually went down from 15.1 to 11.2 when he was on the court for the Timberwolves last season. Thus, Minnesota points off opponent turnovers per 48 minutes went down from 15.2 to 12.0 when Webster played.
Most importantly, he is a shooter (and as the numbers reflect, is better from the corners than from anywhere else beyond the arc — candy for John Wall). This site has been clamoring about getting shooters for a while now. Will Webster solve the issue? No, but he’s a small token of a start. The Wizards are better equipped today than they were yesterday. Time, and training camp, will only tell if it really means something.
Webster is on Twitter, @MartellWebster, and is fairly active, often tweeting about his family. Here is a sampling:
Justin Biebers albums is tough I must admit. I wouldn’t say I have Bieber fever but I’m starting to get the early symptoms! Lol
— Martell Webster (@MartellWebster) June 23, 2012
Man I stuck in the crib right now studying to get my boat licenses.
— Martell Webster (@MartellWebster) June 24, 2012
@dickclark you will be remembered forever!!!
— Martell Webster (@MartellWebster) April 19, 2012
@mrswebster5 has just told me that the best sandwich in the world is her pickle,mayo and cheese sandwich. What are your thoughts!
— Martell Webster (@MartellWebster) May 15, 2012
All I can say is Jon Stewart is one funny guy and the
@thedailyshow is my favorite.
— Martell Webster (@MartellWebster) March 27, 2012
Just touched down in LA at the mall with wife and kids. Disney store has been audio pasted in my head. Trying to figure out how to dodge it!
— Martell Webster (@MartellWebster) February 26, 2012
Webster did once make a dunk that could arguably be worse that JaVale McGee’s off-the-backboard dunk (probably not), but in the heat of the moment, maybe he thought his team had more time than they really did. In any case…
I’m a fan of Webster’s relatively quick high release. Check out when he once scored 24 points in a quarter for the Blazers:
[stats in this post from basketball-reference.com and nba.com/stats]