Martell Webster may want to start packing his bags. While the Washington Wizards‘ selection of small forward Otto Porter came as no surprise, the acquisition of Glen Rice Jr., another small forward, was somewhat of a head scratcher — at least if Washington was planning on re-signing Webster.
With Webster expressing a desire to re-sign with Washington and Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld identifying him as an offseason priority, it seemed a near certainty that he would return next season. With the drafting of Porter and the draft night trade for Rice, it no longer seems plausible that this will be the case.
With their gluttony of small forwards — Trevor Ariza, Porter and Rice — unable to play shooting guard for various reasons — Porter can’t shoot well enough to play it consistently and Ariza and Rice lack the ball handling ability — Washington already has a logjam at the small forward spot, and that’s before adding Webster into the equation.
While Washington could re-sign Webster and simply have a battle royale at training camp between the quartet to decide who gets the most playing time, it doesn’t make sense for Washington to do so from a financial standpoint.
Re-signing Webster won’t come cheap for Washington, as he clearly outplayed his previous contract that paid him $1.7 million last season. Webster may command upwards of $5 million a year on the free-agent market, and with Ariza already on the books next season for $7.7 million — should he exercise his player option — it doesn’t make sense to spend upwards of $15 million for four players who play the same position and are nothing but role players.
Washington could pay Webster and attempt to trade Ariza, but the reality is there isn’t a large market for an injury-prone wingman with a bloated salary and a broken jumper.
This leaves Webster, unfortunately, as the odd man out.