Editor's note: This is part of a themed day on all the SB Nation team sites.
Washington Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld didn't have a lot of options when it came time to pursuing free agents last summer. More or less capped out thanks to the Okariza deal, Grunfeld was limited to pursuing low salary veterans. The resulting haul of A.J. Price, Martell Webster, Jannero Pargo, Shavlik Randolph and Earl Barron was underwhelming to say the least, especially in comparison to the team's far flashier draft and trade market moves.
Six months later, fans are united against Grunfeld and the team is a league-worst 5-28. Surprisingly, though, the free agents that the team picked up aren't responsible for the team's misery.
Martell Webster has been far and away the team's best signing of the summer. The former Minnesota Timberwolves swingman has been a team leader and deadly outside shooter for the scoring-deprived Wizards. Signed for one year deal worth only $1.6 million, Webster is averaging 9.5 points per game while making almost 40 percent of his three pointers in 27 minutes of playing time each night. He's also leading the Wizards in win's produced and his true shooting percentage of 57 percent is second on the team to Nene.
Webster does have his faults, though. His defense hasn't been quite as good as the team might have hoped for, as Washington has been 2.6 points per 48 minutes better defensively when he's been off the court. He's shown some flashes of improving as a passer and playmaker this season but still has a long way to go before he could even be considered average in that regard.
Speaking of playmaking, the Wizards' other key free agent signing, Price, has been much more of a mixed bag than Webster. On the one hand, Price has been a net positive for the playmaking-starved Wizards, with the team scoring 4.1 more points per 100 possessions when he's been on the court this year. On the other hand, the Wizards' offense is the worst in the NBA and Price has been a disaster as a source of quality shots. Yes, Price's 6.6 assists per 36 minutes leads the Wizards, but it's hard to give minutes to a point guard who's only shooting 36 percent on the year. Even when factoring in his relatively miniscule salary it's hard to call the Price signing a success.
The other signees, Barron, Pargo and Randolph, are no longer with the team. They're all marginal NBA players under the best of circumstances and were signed to unguaranteed contracts, though, so no harm, no foul.
Tempting as it may be to pile onto Grunfeld for the players that the team didn't acquire this offseason *coughRyanAndersoncough* the free agents he brought in aren't bad. OK, maybe Price is, but the success of Webster and the lack of resources used this summer should count for something.
What do you think?