Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld optimistic following minicamp

July 11, 2013

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfled, right, is optimistic for season after adding players such as No. 3 overall pick Otto Porter. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld has worked quickly since the start of the NBA’s free agent signing period by retaining Martell Webster and Garrett Temple while adding Eric Maynor, and today during the team’s final session of summer minicamp, he addressed those moves and many other issues before players departed for Las Vegas to participate in summer league.

Webster, who signed a four-year deal worth $22 million, turned in the most productive season of his career with averages of 11.4 points and 3.9 rebounds and was a strong presence in the locker room. Temple, meantime, inked a one-year deal for the veteran minimum after Coach Randy Wittman pushed to keep the versatile backup guard.

“We had some goals for our offseason, and one of them we said was we wanted to retain some of our players that we had, specifically Martell, and we also wanted Garrett back,” Grunfeld said. “They did a really nice job for us last year.”

Maynor agreed to a two-year deal for roughly $2 million that includes a player option for the second season. The former star at Virginia Commonwealth becomes the primary backup at point guard to John Wall.

Maynor has played behind Deron Williams in Utah and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City and last season did the same with rookie of the year Damian Lillard in Portland.

“We went to work on that right from Day 1, and we got a commitment early, which we feel good about,” Grunfeld said of securing a No. 2 point guard. “We think Eric is going to come in and provide some steady leadership and steady play behind John and maybe even play with John occasionally.”

As for Webster, who spoke during a conference call this morning, Grunfeld indicated other teams were courting the small forward who shot 42 percent from three-point range. Webster spent his first season in Washington after the Minnesota Timberwolves bought him out for $600,000 of the remaining $5.7 million on his contract.

Washington offered the No. 6 overall pick of the 2005 draft a one-year deal worth $1.75 million last season.

“I think you saw a premium on shooters in this free agent period,” Grunfeld said. “A lot of shooters went pretty quickly in the free agent market. I think there’s a premium on three-point shooters in the league right now, and a lot of them got paid substantial amounts, and we wanted to get a guy we felt fit in very well with what we’re trying to do locked up.”

Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering multiple beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He also covers Fantasy Football.
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