SF Prospect: Martell Webster

Published: June 30, 2013

The Basics
Height: 6-7
Wingspan: 6-11
Weight: 230
Experience: 8 years (Age: 26)
Teams: Trailblazers, Wolves (sorta), Wizards

Quick Hits
Excellent Shooter
Can put the ball on the floor to escape
Has never been handed big minutes
Average Defender

His Offensive Game
Once the draft target that got the Trailblazers to pass over Chris Paul and Deron Williams, Martell Webster came out of high school and has primarily turned into a shooting specialist. But wow, what a shooting specialist. Drilling 42.2% of his threes, and 41.5% of his long two-pointers, Webster proved last year he is one of the better shooters in the league.

It isn’t fair, however, to call him only a shooter. Unlike many shooting specialists, Webster took slightly under half his shots from three this year, getting all the way to the rim on fully a quarter of his shots, where he finished at a decent 53.2% clip. It this ability – plus 3 free throws a game – that allowed him to post a stellar 60.1% True Shooting percentage – a number that would have led everyone on last year’s Hornets squad by a strong margin.

As a creator Webster brings very little. He’s a finisher and able to swing the ball along the perimeter. Still, with three creators at the guard spots on this team, that may not be an issue.

His Defensive Game
The Wizards had a very solid defense last year, and Webster was used in platoon with Trevor Ariza to try and stop the best wing players on the other team. The results for Webster weren’t fantastic – but neither were they bad. His team was slightly worse on defense with him on the floor, but he was still a key part of a defense that was fully 8 points per 100 possessions better than the Hornets were. He’d improve the Pelicans wing defense.

Rebounding Rates
Webster’s rebounding is not his strong suit, as he posts below average numbers across the board for a small forward.

ORB Rate DRB Rate TRB Rate
Leage Average SF 4.7 13.9 9.3
Martell Webster 2.7 12.3 7.5
  • Last year Webster was coming off a knee injury, and he did post the second lowest rebound rate of his career. This could be cause and effect
  • That said, Webster has never posted a total rebound rate higher than the league average for a small forward. The closest he got is 8.2% – although in three seasons he posted a better defensive rebound rate than the league average.


Scoring in Detail
Webster Shot Chart

Notes from Chart

  • As you can see, Webster’s strongest shooting comes from the corners – a place where the Pelicans have desperately needed a threat for some time. His shooting from above the break isn’t as impressive, but still more than solid.
  • Webster doesn’t pull up for that mid-range shot very often. His escape dribble usually drives him all the way to the basket – and he is a very low turnover player, so this is something to appreciate. His finishing at the basket is red – because for the league he’s not amazing. Still, as an addendum to his shooting game, it’s extremely helpful.
  • The chart does emphasize a criticism of Webster’s game that he’s much better going right than left. Still, it’s not like he’s bad going left. He’s just average.

How He Fits
Offensively, Martell Webster fills the holes that Aminu would leave on the offensive side of the ball. He can stretch the floor, help Gordon and now Jrue find gaps and be ready for a kickout. His ability to fake and move to the basket makes him less one-dimensional than most shooting specialists.

Those same companions in the backcourt will put a larger burden of rebounding on the big men, however – as they will have to make up three less than stellar rebounders.

Why You Should Want Him to Sign
D-and-Three. Look, his D is not as good as his three, but with the Pelicans already sporting 2-3 creators, you need guys on the wing knocking down shots. He could easily slot into a 28-30 minute role on the wing and make life miserable for teams trying to guard Anderson while covering Davis, Jrue and Gordon.

The Wizards, an absolutely anemic offensive team, almost became average when he stepped on the floor. I’m firmly convinced that had the Pelicans a combo of Aminu and Webster at the three last year, their offense would have been risen from 15th to the top ten. Add him and watch the fireworks.

Expected Contract
3 years, $9-15 million
It’s hard to be certain where Webster will end up salary-wise. To me, he’s as effective as a player like Korver while being 6 years younger than him. I would expect him to command close to the mid-level exception, but as teams snap up players like Korver, Delfino, Copeland and other players on this list, Webster’s contract will slowly decrease.  It’s a risk to sit around and see if his price declines – but it may be worth it because there are other players not too dissimilar to him out there.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.