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NBA free agency: Martell Webster said New Orleans Pelicans showed 'big-time' interest in him

The Wizards' small forward revealed six teams other than the Washington Wizards that were interested in signing him, adding that the New Orleans Pelicans in particular were hot after him.


Lots of people were wondering if the Washington Wizards bid against themselves when signing Martell Webster to a four-year, $22 million contract. In a conference call with reporters Thursday, Webster revealed that there were a number of other teams, most notably the New Orleans Pelicans, that were interested in signing him.

"Big time," Webster said when describing the Pelicans' pursuit of him.

Webster also said that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers were after him, as well as the Portland Trail Blazers -- showing a "little bit of interest" -- and "a couple other teams." But he added that the revelation was "nothing important" and that he wanted the Wizards from the start.

"This was definitely the best year of my career, not only from a basketball standpoint, but just from the chemistry and camaraderie that me and my teammates shared. It was by far the best year I had, so it was hard for me to leave that. I didn't want to leave that," Webster said.

Many of the comments Webster made duplicated the ones he said after the Wizards' Summer Fest on Tuesday. The ones that didn't:

We understand that this game isn't going to last forever. We have to be able to pass on the torch to the young guys anyway. -Martell Webster on Otto Porter

Webster on the small forward battle: "When you have three people like that competing at the position, it tells you a lot about this team. It's going to be a battle. We fight for everything, but at the same time, we'll make each other better. Me and Trevor [Ariza]get along really well. He's like my big brother. It's not like there's any bad blood between us. With Otto [Porter], it's kind of like teaching him the ropes. We understand that this game isn't going to last forever. We have to be able to pass on the torch to the young guys anyway. That's what we're here for, to teach them the ropes, but at the same time, we're trying to be great. We're trying to be a really good team in the East, and that's going to start with the 3 position."

On his health: "I understand why people would be concerned about my health, but that's not going to be an issue this year."

On his summer workout plan: "I'll probably be spending more time in the weight room and with my trainer than on the court [the rest of the summer]." (The rest was essentially a repeat of what he said Tuesday).

On playing small: "When we were healthy, we were rolling and we won 15 out of those 21 games, I would probably say that 50 percent of those games where when we had to play small ball, and we were really good."

On what some of the big contracts for wings like him says about the value of shooting: "I feel that, us players who are in that position, we're the X-factors. That's why you see a lot of players signing these deals. Teams know how important it is to have a player like that on the court, especially shooters. They can spread offense, they open up the court -- for us -- for our star point guard. He's lightning-quick and ridiculously agile. He can get into the lane and create lots of havoc. But when he gets in trouble, he's able to kick the ball out ... He's got to be able to have people to pass to, and we have shooters like that. It makes a world of difference. It means the world for an offense and it makes defenses make a tough decision. Around the league, those players are in that same position as X-factors, and teams know that."

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