Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Importance of Martell Webster

Martell Webster really came into his own last year with the Washington Wizards, posting career highs in points and 3-point percentage. Drafted in 2005, Webster’s career has been plagued by injuries and short seasons. Washington picked him up following the 2011-12 season after he was waved by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and since then, his career has been completely revived.

Webster created a niche for himself on the Wizards by being a pure 3-point shooter, and an efficient one at that. In 76 games last year he made 139 trey balls on great 42% shooting, making him 12th in the league in 3PT% and top 30 in 3-pointers made. Having efficient 3-point shooters to kick the ball out to is necessary to complement John Wall’s driving game. With shooters like Beal and Webster, the Wizards should be able to get a lot of points off of drive-and-kicks by Wall.

The Wizards’ sharpshooter also signed a four-year, $22 million contract this offseason, making him the fifth highest paid Wizard this year – good value for a guy who definitely seems to be finding his niche here in Washington. However, it will be interesting to see how many minutes he gets in the upcoming season. As of now, the Wizards will have to divide up the small forward minutes between Webster, Trevor Ariza, and Otto Porter. With Webster’s new deal and Porter’s potential, the odd man out seems to be Ariza. Since he’s on an expiring deal, it’s possible that the Wizards will try to move him later in the year, whether for injury reasons or for a spark for a playoff push. He still has some value, as Los Angeles Lakers fans have expressed interest in luring him back to his former team. At any rate, I expect him to be the third option at the position this year.

His contributions on the offensive side of the floor are often talked about, but his leadership in the locker room is what separates him from the mentioned competition. For a team desperately trying to make the post season, having a leader such as Webster is essential.

Whether as starter or the leader of the second unit, expect Martell Webster to make it splash for the Wizards throughout this season.

What role do you envision Webster playing next season? Let me know in the comment section. 

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