Free-agent Marvin Webster, the 7-foot-1 center who led the Seattle SuperSonics to the NBA championship series the past season, said yesterday that he and his attorney have been in contact with several clubs, including the Washington Bullets.
Right now, I just want to test the waters and see what the teams are willing to pay, I don't have any set amount of money in mind but you I want to be paid your value. You don't want to feel shortchanged," said Webster, a former Morgan State ALl-American.
"My agent (Larry Fleischer) and I have talked with several teams - the New York Knicks, Phoenix and San Antonio, in particular - but nothing definite has been decided."
Webster played out his option with Seattle this season and, following an impressive overall performance during the 1977-78 season and playoffs, found his worth had increased immensely. He was declared a free-agent Mondya by NBA Commissioner, Larry O'Brien. Webster reportedly is seeking a contract worth $700,000 a year.
Webster, 26, has met several times with the New York Knicks, prompting speculation he was leaning toward the Knicks.
"Everyone knew the Knicks were negotiating with Webster some time ago," said Bullet General Manager Bob Ferry. "I spoke to Larry (Fleischer) maybe six weeks ago concerning another matter and I merely inquired about Webster's status.
"Larry asked if the Bullets would be interested in Webster and I said yes. We would be willing to sit down and discuss it but I haven't spoken to Larry since that day."
"I wouldn't want to disrupt my ball club," said Ferry, "and at the moment I don't have any immediate plans to talk with either Webster or Fleischer."
Although Webster indicted he had no team preference, he said that the "Bullets have enough big guys already. What are they going to do with the series MVP (Wes Unsel)? Sit him on the bench? Maybe they're thinking two years ahead, I don't know," said Webster. "And they have (Mitch) Kupchak and (Joe) Pace.They have big men."
The Denver Nuggets drafted Webster on the first round in 1975.
But he contracted hepatitis and sat but most of the 1975-76 season. The next season, Webster played 80 games and averaged 6.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and blocked 118 shots.
Webster, a native of Baltimore, was sent with veterans Paul Silas and Willie WIse to Seattle in exchange for Tom Burleson, Bobby Wilkerson and a second-round draft choice.
Last season, Webster averaged 14 points, 13 rebounds and 23 blocked shots a game.
Webster said he would not object to playing in Seattle again next season.
"It's almost time for training camp to begin again. Yes, I would consider going back to Seattle and, yes, my agent has spoken with them, too," said Webster, "But there a lot of other issues I must consider before signing with anyone. Money isn't the entire issue."