Going into the 2012-2013 contract year season Martell Webster said all the right words while beating out Trevor Ariza for the starting Small Forward position. Even though he had a serious back injury in the past Martell did a fabulous job while also winning the hearts of the Wizards fans. There was a great debate whether the Wizards should give him a new contract, with the detractors (myself included) too worried about his major back surgery. The front office bought into Webster and gave him a guaranteed $18million with a possible $22million over 4 years. The Wizards should be set for the next 3 or 4 years with Webster and using the #3 draft pick on Otto Porter.
We all thought Martell would have been appreciative and come out to camp firing in all cylinders. After 3 days of Camp ONLY 3 DAYS! Martell gave in the towel and publicly conceded that Trevor Ariza had won the Small Forward Starting job. What? What happened to the contract year Martell Webster? We want him back.
Unfortunately, NBA contracts are guaranteed. If Martell wants to coast for 2 years and then work hard, and talk the talk, in year 3 to have the Wizards guarantee the 4th year then he is more than capable of doing that. He would not be the first NBA or Wizards player to do that. Brendan Haywood went from 7 rebounds a game to 10 his contract year and back down to 7 after he signed a big fat contract with Dallas. We should ask Mark Cuban what he thinks about being suckered by a contract year bump player.
The Wizards need Martell Webster to live up to his promises and all his talk and performance of his contract year. We cannot afford to give Trevor Ariza, who had a substantial contract year bump (another but similar story), a massive contract that will cripple our ability to substantially upgrade our roster.
The plan is for Martell Webster and Otto Porter to take care of the Small Forward position for the next few years, and this starts with Martell living up to the faith the Wizards have in him by signing him to his contract on the first day of free agency.