The Wizards’ have reached an agreement in principal with free agent swingman Martell Webster, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. The deal – expected to be worth close to the league minimum for one year – could be signed as soon as Friday.
Webster, the former sixth overall pick of the 2005, has established a reputation as a perimeter threat over his time with Portland and Minnesota but he struggled last season while recovering from two back surgeries. He averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 rebounds but shot a career-low 33.9 percent in 47 games, including 26 starts, for the Timberwolves.
Minnesota bought him out in July in a move that cleared up money for the team to make a run at restricted free agent Nicolas Batum, who wound up returning to Portland.
Webster, 25, worked out for the Wizards at Verizon Center this week and the team quickly moved to lock up the 6-foot-7 player who has averaged 8.4 points per game and shot 37.4 percent from three-point range in seven seasons. Two years ago, Webster shot a career-high 41.7 percent from long distance.
ESPN.com first reported the agreement with Webster, who is capable of playing small forward or shooting guard and provides more depth at the wing position. He scored in double figures 14 times last season, tallying a season-high 21 points in a win over his former team in Portland.
Webster has battled injuries since signing a four-year, $20 million extension with the Blazers in October 2008. He played just one game because of a broken left foot in 2008-09 and has had at least three back procedures in the past two years. He was slated to earn $5.7 million next season but Minnesota waived him with a $600,000 buyout.
With nearly five weeks remaining until training camp begins at George Mason University on Oct. 2, the Wizards will have 14 players under contract. In addition to providing another option to spread the floor on offense, Webster also gives the Wizards another player with postseason experience, joining Nene, Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor and A.J. Price.
Webster also becomes the fifth member of the Wizards who has spent some time with the Timberwolves, joining Coach Randy Wittman and assistants Sam Cassell, Don Zierden and Jerry Sichting.