Martell Webster might be overpaid, but then again, he might not be. 3-D (Players who drill threes and play tough D) guys are likely undervalued in today’s NBA, and while Webster might not provide enough of the “D” to be considered 3-D, his three point prowess more than makes up for it, especially on this 2014 Wizards team. The Wizards have struggled to score for years and floor spacing will be key going forward, especially with two point guards who struggle shooting from deep. Webster is a floor spacer and Wizards fans and decision-makers love him for that. 2013 was a great campaign, and similar production in 2014 should be considered a success. In 2013, a plethora of Martell questions were answered. Here’s to hoping new ones don’t arise. So without further ado, here is what we need to see from Martell Webster in 2014:
Same Room for John Wall
This title is brought to you by one of my favorite John Legend songs, Save Room. John Legend just wants his lover to save room for his love, and John Wall just needs someone to save room in the paint. Martell Webster is that someone. Wall is now surrounded by shooters to allow him to operate in around the bucket, and Webster is the ultimate room saver. I have no doubt that Webster can continue to shoot it well from deep, but he needs to stay well above average to be worth his new contract. A close repeat of last year is a need to see. Here’s Webster’s 2013 shot performance chart:
That chart constitutes a dead eye shooter. If the corner jump pass that Wall has put on display so far in the preseason is an indication of things to come, Webster’s 49.3% from the corner will be one of the deadliest weapons in the NBA.
Please Stay Healthy Please Stay Healthy Please
It wasn’t so long ago that Webster was written off as an injury-prone three-point shooter who couldn’t do much else. A full missed season in 2009 due to a foot injury and half seasons in 2011 and 2012 due to back troubles convinced Minnesota Timberwolves GM David Kahn that Websterwas a lost cause, a waste of the players given up for him (just kidding, Kahn gave up the immortal Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes). His healthy 2010 campaign didn’t matter to anyone after the two straight surgeries and he was left on the free agent scrap heap for Ernie Grunfeld to stumble upon for just above the veteran’s minimum. 2013 saw healthy Martell dominate from deep. We can only hope he is as lucky going forward.
I’m sure Grunfeld expected to get no more than 60 games of mediocre play from Webster and nothing more. What a pleasant surprise Webster’s play and health were. I haven’t seen anything to make me think that Websteris anything other than extremely healthy, but two back surgeries in the last three years is unnerving. If Webster were to miss extended time, Otto Porter would be thrust into a role he is likely currently unable to handle. Not to mention, that would mean more minutes for Ariza, who takes just as much off the table as he brings to it.
The shortened version of this article is simple: Do what you did last year, Martell.
Webster was paid this summer like hits 2013 season will be indicative of his next four. I’m skeptical that will be the case, but he has obviously proven that he has a place in the NBA and is a valuable commodity.