FanPost

Is Martell Webster Tradeable? Realistic Trade Scenarios

The Wizards had a logjam at Small Forward last year, with about $18 million commited between Ariza, Webster, and Porter, and Otto was the odd one out. Keeping Otto Porter out of the rotation next year does not appear to be an option given the investment the organization made in Otto Porter by drafting him 3rd overall, and trading Otto doesn't seem feasible either because of how low his trade value must be after a season in which he played 319 minutes. That leaves the Wizards' front office with two options: trade Martell Webster and re-sign Trevor Ariza; or keep Martell Webster and let Athreeza walk in free agency. I think I speak for the vast majority of the BF community when I say that Trev won me over this year and made me cringe when thinking of a scenario where #1 isn't on the 2014-2015 Washington Wizards, so for the purpose of this fanpost I'm going to assume the 'Zards would be interested in keeping Ariza and trading away Martell.

From reading the comments section all year I know how optimistic and ocassionally delusional fans are about Martell's trade value. Because of his contract (3 years, $17 mil) the reality is Martell's value isn't zero, it's negative. The Courtney Lee trade is a perfect example of Martell's value. The Celtics were in a similar situation last year (as the Wiz this year) and they were lucky to get rid of Lee, who I actually think is a slightly better player than 'Tell at the same price, midseason for Jerryd Bayless' expiring contract. The Celtics even had to throw in a 2nd rounder to make it happen. This trade is more best-case than worst-case, though; Kevin Pelton from ESPN.com gave the C's a B+ and the Grizzlies a C+ for this deal. In these trade scenarios I will treat Martell's trade value as about equal to Lee's a few months ago.

tl;dr: Trev's hot, Martell's not

To the trade machiiiiiine......

Note: All salary numbers are from the 2013-2014 season, Martell's 2014-2015 salary is $5,381,750

Cleveland Cavaliers

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Picks Involved: None

Unreasonable as it may be, the Cavs plan to contend for a playoff spot next year, and if Luol Deng walks, they have Alonzo Gee penciled in as the starter. Gee's contract is fully unguaranteed next year and the only guy they have behind him is Sergey Karasev, a rookie who played in 22 games this year, so Martell fills a need and provides better spacing for Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and whoever they draft this year. The Wiz add a more than decent, but overpaid third guard in Jarett Jack who can play beside both John Wall and Brad Beal. Jack also lets the Wiz waive Andre Miller 's last year and perhaps most importantly get rid of the fourth year of Martell's deal (2016-2017, the summer Nene's deal expires, AKA The Summer of Durant) as Jarett Jack's fourth year is only $500,000 guaranteed.

Detroit Pistons

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Picks Involved: Detroit receives the right to swap 2015 1st round picks

One of the reasons Josh Smith spent so much time at the three this season is the Pistons didn't have great options on the wing. Kyle Singler, their best shooter has one year left on his rookie deal, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has three, but Rodney Stuckey and his 27 MPG hit free agency, so there is a hole in the rotation. Detroit shot 32% from three this year, good bad for 29th in the league, so Martell would provide some much needed shooting. Jonas Jerebko was decent as a stretchy 4 for the Pistons last year and looked like he was $4.5 mil more often than before. He would fill a role as the third or fourth big in the Wiz's rotation depending on what happens in FA and could work as a trade chip as well, but would most likely just expire after the season.

Milwaukee Bucks

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Picks Involved: None

The Bucks had a crowded frountcourt last year, and Larry Sanders only played 23 games. To find playing time for their promising young bigs John Henson, Khris Middleton, and Miroslav Raduljica, the Bucks might have to deal Pachulia, who has a bad-but-not-terrible contract. There is space in the rotation on the wing, especially at the three, since Giannis is the only true SF on the roster. For the Wizards it's mostly about ditching the last year of the Webster deal, but Zaza Pachulia is a good midrange shooter for a center and can really rebound. If Gortat is brought back Zaza would back him up and ocasionally play alongside him. Marcin was extremely durable last year, but he is 30, and it's always great to have a good insurance policy.

Toronto Raptors

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Picks Involved: Washington receives Sacramento's 2014 2nd round pick (37th overall) via Toronto; Toronto receives Washington's 2014 2nd round pick (46th overall)

Toronto had to give their backup wing minutes this season to 34 year old John Salmons, who posted a PER 7.81 (average is 15) and has an unguarnteed contract for this year that is sure to be waived. If they keep Steve Novak, who they were reluctant to play (10 MPG in 54 games) at Small Forward of his inability to guard 3's, and at Power Forward because of the presence of a better player for the "Stretch 4" role in Patrick Patterson, he will basically be clogging their cap sheet for the next two years. Martell fills needs for the Raptors as the quality backup wing they lacked, and have a roster that can "hide" him defensively with either Ross or DeRozan if need be. For the Wizards, Steve Novak does serve a role as the stretch four they have lacked for so long and further spaces the floor for what was already one of the league's best three point shooting teams by percentage. Novak wouldn't have to play at the 3, where he has struggled more to defend, because of Otto and Trev's presence. Moving up in the second round gives the Wiz another chance to draft someone who could prove a bargain down the line, but I don't have much faith in Ernie and Co. As in all of these fake trades though, it's always about the remaining years on the deal (2 vs 3) and in Novak's case a slight but meaningful difference in yearly salary.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.

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