It's not technically midseason, but with this being the all-star break, we could think of no better time than to issue midseason report cards. In this edition: Cartier Martin, who's been the odd-man-out.
STATS: 23 games played. 17.6 minutes, 6.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 0.4 assists per game. 10.68 PER (Player Efficiency Rate). 51.9% TS (True Shooting Percentage). 7.6% TRR (Total Rebound Rate). 18.55% USG (Usage Rate). Last game: January 6, 2013 @ Miami. Currently out indefinitely with hyperextended knee.
Cartier Martin has had a couple of great games this year. He played really well against Dallas in the 4th quarter of the 4th game of the year. His best outing was probably against the Lakers in December, but some strong performances against Golden State and Miami also showed fans signs of what they'd seen at the end of last season. He wasn't the best shooter in the world, but on a team with a historically low Offensive Rating, the presence of any shooter that could put points on the board was more than welcome.
While many fans have been missing Martin's shooting this season, one of the things he brings every day is his camaraderie. The Wizards locker room, despite being filled with more losses than wins, has remained relatively upbeat this entire season. It has gotten even more upbeat since the Wizards started dominating teams defensively after John Wall's return. Even though Martin hasn't played in some time, he's still a friendly face in the locker room, and he's still joking around with the other players after big wins. Always good to have some positive energy and chemistry among teammates.
On a roster with a lot of guys who can play the 2-3-4, Cartier Martin has had a tough time fitting into the rotation. Yes, he's also nursing a knee injury, and the team doesn't have a timetable for his return. But based on who has been in and out of the rotation (injury or otherwise), Martin's role seems the most vulnerable. Webster provides lights-out 3-point shooting. Ariza provides quick-and-lanky defense. Toss Singleton, Beal, and Temple into the mix, and you're not going to be able to see much of Martin. I mean, if we're not seeing any Jordan Crawford, are we going to see any Cartier Martin even after he returns from injury? Slim chance.
As of right now, the biggest obstacle to Martin's return to the rotation is his hyperextended knee. Once that's all settled and healed, he can rejoin the squad. Whenever that happens, we could see him improve. But his last game was six games before John Wall's first game back. And as has been abundantly clear, Randy Wittman is pretty hesitant about messing with the rotation's chemistry.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SECOND HALF
If and when Martin returns, is he going to see any floor time? Or is he going to be a good candidate to get traded? There are plenty of teams out there that could use a shooter off the bench that could provide Washington with some cap space or defender off the bench. Personally, I like Cartier Martin, and I'd like to see how well he plays off John Wall before pulling the trigger on any trade. Lord knows this team needs as many shooters as possible. But I'm also not against the idea of him going someplace else to get more playing time, especially if the Wizards can get something beneficial in return.