Earlier today, the Wizards continued their pursuit of culture reformation after securing the deals of newly acquired Eric Maynor, along with the re-signing of Garrett Temple. Martell Webster promised us last night that his contract extension would be signed today as well.
The decision to retain Temple and Webster is mere evidence that the Wizards are veering away from their historically bad front office habits, specifically their failure to hold on to key role players who serve as a positive locker room influence. Not only do Temple and Webster epitomize those attributes off the court, but their production on the floor last season certainly played a factor in bringing them back as well. Here’s a breakdown of the importance of each players (re)acquisitions.
Webster is coming off his best season as a professional, achieving career highs all across the board in games played, minutes played, 3pt %, points per game, assists and rebounds. His range and ability to knock down spot up 3’s allowed the Wizards to stretch the floor and served as a key weapon in John Wall’s arsenal. At 6’7/230, Webster has the frame that grants him the elusiveness and strength to be effective offensively and on defense, down low or out on the perimeter.
Despite the selection of Otto Porter, another stretch forward, Webster said he remained collective while patiently waiting out the Wizards’ decision on him. Like many other swingmen, Martell understood he was the product of a business and that his fate relied on which team wanted/needed him most. Of course the Wizards ultimately proved to him who that team was after agreeing to sign him to a 4-year extension.
As for his health, Webster says he feels just fine after undergoing sports hernia surgery in May. He is expected to be at full strength come training camp.
Garrett Temple was certainly a breath of fresh air for a Wizards backcourt that was polluted with injury and dysfunction. With John Wall shelved for the beginning of the season, the Wizards scrapped for his replacement which inevitably caused a point guard carousel that included soon-to-be ousted guards Jannero Pargo, Shaun Livingston and Shelvin Mack.
Temple was signed Christmas week and served the Wizards well in various areas, specifically as a defender. He played in 51 games, starting in 36 of them and played several games with 40+ minutes. Upon the announcement of his re-signing, GM Ernie Grunfeld touted him for his beneficial presence on the team.
“His defensive ability, toughness and team-first attitude make him an excellent fit in our system and provide a great example of the culture we are building.”
Temple will give the Wizards insurance at the 2 guard position, behind Bradley Beal. Although the majority of his game is concentrated on the defensive end, Temple has also proven the ability to knock down jumpers and has a pretty nice touch. With these assets, along with his experience at point guard, Temple’s value on the Wizards rosteris pretty evident.
With Maynor, the Wizards are hopeful he’ll be back to 2011 strength when he played 82 games for the OKC Thunder. A journeyman, Maynor will suit up for his fourth NBA team in as many years, previously playing for Utah, Okhaloma City and Portland.
Maynor’s game is safe. He can effectively facilitate an offense, can hit 3’s (35% career 3pt shooter), and has had ample experience backing up other elite point guards — Deron Williams in Utah and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. Considering coach Randy Wittman’s knack for shuffling his guard rotations, Maynor holds an advantage in his ability to knock down shots, a convenience that will allow Wittman to play Wall and Maynor on the floor at the same time, just like he did with AJ Price.