When the Wizards made the late addition of Martell Webster to the 2012-13 roster, there was no big press conference, no fanfare, and to be quite honest, the reception amongst media and bloggers was fairly subdued. The good news is that Martell has shown to be more than just a one dimensional player as some alluded to.
Seven months later, the Wizards now find themselves with a new fan favorite and a player who has gradually improved and exceeded expectations that only his own family could have had for him.
Kyle Korver, Jose Calderon and Stephen Curry, that’s it. Those are the only three players with a better percentage from beyond the arc than Webster. That’s quite impressive company for a guy with a career average of 38% after seven years in the league.
The even better news is that Webster has improved in every statistical category that really matters. He’s become more comfortable with more playing time, and when the Wizards can actually get Wall, Beal and Webster on the floor together for a long period, I fully believe we are going to start seeing a lot more open space for Wall, simply because defenses are going to have to play the SG/SF positions more honestly.
If for some reason you still don’t like the guy, how about the fact that he’s loved in the locker room, has an infectious positive personality, is a walking sound byte, and to top it off, Martell is now showing the promise he came with as the 6th pick in the 2005 Draft.
Wizards 2005 1st round pick (no. 20) was acquired by Orlando in trade for Brendan Haywood. Since everyone loves the Kevin Bacon game…that pick would become Julius Hodge who has ties to the Wizards through his internet famous Summer League run in with John Wall. The Wizards 2nd round pick was Andray Blatche.
Still not convinced, right? Take it from his teammates…
Bradley Beal - “He’s terrific. Just the way he shoots the ball. He brings other things to the table as well. He’s just so smart and he’s a leader at that, too. Whenever he’s playing well we feed off his energy. He’s a very energetic player. And a passionate player.”
Garrett Temple - “It couldn’t happen to a better person. Martell is a great guy and I was happy to see him knock down more threes. He’s what, top-five right now? Hopefully he can finish top-three this year.”
John Wall - “I already talked to Ted about that one. That’s an easy, hands down question about trying to get him back here. Him being a free agent, a lot of people are going to come after him. Especially after the season he had this year. I think coming here he didn’t know if he was gonna play right away, or how many minutes he’s gonna get. And with a couple injuries, he came out and he’s starting to have a big night just about every night.”
Ted and Ernie have taken a lot of crap from a lot of people and some of it deservingly so, but if we are witnessing what Mart3ll W3bst3r really is as a player in this league, and the small forward position now has a proven starter who can shoot his ass off, then the Wizards are further ahead in this rebuild than anyone would have cared to admit as recently as a few weeks ago.
Webster told the recently told the media, “I would love to be here next year… I’m having an extraordinary time. The city is great, the fans are great, and teammates are awesome.”
Anyone hoping for Shabazz Muhammad or Otto Porter in this summer’s draft might not agree with me but I’d love for Mart3ll to be the Wizards answer to the small forward position. It means we can re-focus our efforts in the summer to fixing all the other issues that still remain within this organization.