As we move closer to the preseason and we realize our roster is full of players who have never worn any version of the Wolves uniform, I thought it would be a good idea to look at these players and get a better feel for them.
Coming straight out of high-school from the Seattle area and playing on a deep Portland team, prior to the trade on draft day, Martell Webster was a mystery. Webster, who was chosen No. 6 by the Blazers, has played in the league five season and is only 23 years-old.
Prior to declaring for the draft, Wedster had declared to play at Washington University, but hired an agent rather quickly and ended his Huskie dreams.
DraftExpress.com had this scouting report on Webster back in 2005;
Webster just has a great feel for putting the ball in the basket at the high school level, especially from the perimeter. Part of this is due to the fact that he’s so much more mature than most players his age both physically (much bigger and stronger than anyone at his position) and mentally, but the fact that he is a very skilled player who has a good feel for the game can not be ignored.
Webster is a very natural shooter with excellent mechanics and nice elevation on his jump shot, although his release is a bit on the slow side because of his very deliberate motions. Once he sets his feet and gets his shoulders square, though, he is lights out. He can hit his jumper from anywhere on the court, and is good at getting his shot off in tough situations.
His playing style is pretty unique, and that’s probably why so many people are intrigued by his game. He is most definitely not explosive, but has a certain smoothness to him, combined with good court awareness, maturity and an understanding of what’s going on around him. In transition, he has powerful long strides, which are deliberate, but help him get to the basket and then finish strong. He shows a willingness to play within a set offense, not forcing the issue too much compared with most players his age (all-star games aside) and appearing to understand his role.
At the Draft Combine, Webster measured at 6’7″ with a wingspan of 6’11″ and a max vertical of 30.5 inches. After Portland drafted him, Webster spent sometime in the NBDL. But in recent seasons, Webster worked himself into a rotation player in Portland and was playing 24.5 minutes a game.
In 2008-09 Webster missed all but one game with a fractured foot. But in his four other seasons, he has averaged 75 games.
Webster gets a little of a bad wrap as “only a shooter”, but in Portland, the ball was dominated by former Wolves draft pick Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, Webster was not needed to do much other than shoot. Yet Webster runs the floor well and can finish in transition.
During January of last season, Webster averaged 15.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg and continued to score above average while Roy was out with hamstring issues. During the first seven games in Feb, while Roy was still out, Webster averaged 13.4 ppg and had 28 points against the Clippers.
What to Expect From Webster
The Wolves trade Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes for Webster, do the front office and Kurt Rambis must have seen something they like in his game. Webster will start at either the shooting guard or small forward spot and should see an increase in production as he will be a featured offensive weapon.
The one aspect of his game which is still a mystery, is defense. At 6’7″ with such a long reach, he should be able to bother players, but I need to see him play to get a feel for the commitment on defense.
Moving from a secondary role, to a primary role, I look for Webster to be aggressive and assertive. Webster will continue to shoot from distance, but This squad needs players who have been on winning teams to take the lead and be an example to the even younger players, and come through in difficult situations.
While his averages should see a spike, he will also get most teams best perimeter defender every night. That was not the case in Portlnd where teams focused on Brandon Roy. So creating his own shot and finding even more ways to get his shot off against a defender is a must. Also, adding a few highlights like the following from NBA.com will help!
Now, for your viewing pleasure.
Webster Drops 28 Vs. Pistons
Two-Handed Alley-Opp From Blake
3 And 1