11:56am: Webster’s release is official, the team announced.
“Martell, with his contributions on the court and ability to connect with the fans and the community off the court, has been a great example of the type of player we want to represent our organization,” Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld said. “He worked extremely hard to fight through his injuries but unfortunately was not able to make a healthy return. We appreciate everything he contributed to the team and wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
9:42am: The Wizards plan to waive Martell Webster, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The move clears a roster spot for the team to sign Ryan Hollins, a pending transaction that Charania reported overnight. Webster is out for the season with a hip injury. His salary is fully guaranteed for $5.6135MM this season and partially guaranteed for $2.5MM next year, the final year of his contract. Washington will have to pay both unless another team claims him off waivers, though a claim would be a highly unlikely outcome. Webster would have been in line for a full guarantee on his salary worth more than $5.845MM next season if he’d have played in at least 70 games this season, but he’s already missed too many.
Webster said when he elected to have surgery on his right hip that it would knock him out for four to six months, a timetable that might have him back in time for the end of the season. Other reports indicated that recovery could take as long as 10 months, and the Wizards ultimately announced that they expected him to miss the entire season. The small forward whose 29th birthday is this week had employed balance-correcting glasses and other measures in an ill-fated attempt to try to rehabilitate the hip without surgery.
Injuries have long plagued the former sixth overall pick, though he missed a total of only 10 regular season games his first two seasons with Washington, in 2012/13 and 2013/14. That changed last season, when he missed 50, and he appeared only once in the 2015 playoffs. Still, he’s no longer pondering retirement as he did a year ago. He averaged 9.7 points in 27.7 minutes per game with 39.2% 3-point shooting in 2013/14, his last healthy season.
Do you think Webster can return from injury next season to play a significant role for another NBA team? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.