UPDATE (8/18/09 8:31am): And it don't stop!
Warriors general manager Larry Riley has turned down all the offers he's received for Watson, the latest and most significant coming from the Orlando Magic, according to a person close to the talks. Riley turned down a first-round draft pick, cash and a reserve guard, the source said.
So, with Watson’s only option being a sign-and-trade, his agent, obviously, goes to work looking for a deal. Riley, weighing Watson against what he’s being offered, has said no each time. The latest offer: a first-round pick (which would likely be a really late first-rounder), cash and a guard on the bench (one that is under contract - so likely Anthony Johnson because certainly it wasn’t J.J. Redick. or Jameer Nelson) The result, the Warriors are likely going to get Watson at a bargain. Either Watson will play for the qualifying offer, which is just over a million. Or Watson will sign for three years and $1.5 million a year - which is likely below market value (if Watson were an unrestricted free agent).
Keep in mind that any deal over the $800,000 Watson earned last season makes him a Base Year Compensation player, and in a sign-and-trade deal the Warriors could only take back 50% of Watson's first year salary, meaning to have any real value to the Warriors, Watson's first year salary would have to be north of $4 million. A Trade Player Exception has no real asset value unless it's over $2 million. A deal involving Anthony Johnson at $1.9 million means a first year salary of almost $4 million; a deal involving J.J. Reddick means a first year salary of almost $6 million - astronomical numbers for C.J. Watson.
Trading Watson: No Time Like the Present [Fast Break]
Jump for the 4-1-1 about the Quiet Storm!
Alex Kennedy has all the "juicy" details over at RealGM. Here's C.J.'s take:
"I haven't decided if I'm going to take that or sign the qualifying offer. I still have to decide but that is the deal on the table."
Get paid C.J.
Another meaningless summer move brought to you by the Golden State Warriors!
Still waiting for that big offseason splash from the Warriors? Still waiting for them to make a high impact move this offseason?
I sure am. Aside from possibly getting the steal of the 2009 NBA Draft in Stephen Curry (the most popular Warrior yet to play a game), the Warriors have done ZERO to fix the many gaping holes in this roster that are obvious to even your average Laker fan. Chris Mullin's gone. I was expecting more than just a lot of talking, posturing, and overrating the "ridiculous upside" on this roster.
Memo to Warriors front office: A shot at a young superstar big man in Amare Stoudemire for a center with ZERO post game who can't guard a single 4 or 5 in the league, a "power" forward who has done next to nothing in the league, and some change would be a great a start! Keep Steve Kerr on speed dial.
From the vault:
First thing's first. CJ Watson is NOT a point guard just as his D-League stats would have predicted when the Dubs called him up 1.5 seasons ago. Last season he averaged 0.4 more assists/ 36 than... Ronny Turiaf. That shows that Ronny's willing to share the rock of course, but it also shows that Watson's court vision is isn't exactly point guard material- even backup point guard material.
Sign-and-trades are very difficult to architect in the NBA and I wouldn't be surprised if this dragged out for awhile. Props to the Larry Riley and the Warriors though. I doubt they really want to hold onto Watson, but they're really trying to milk the Magic here. Maybe they can get a 2nd round pick out of this at the least. Looking up and down the Magic roster, the only player I'd rate worse than Watson who the Magic might be willing to deal for him is J.J. Reddick. With 2-guards and swingmen Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Morrow, Corey Maggette, Kelenna Azubuike, Marco Belinelli, Acie Law, and Speedy Claxton, it would pretty much be pointless to unnecessarily muddy that grouping with another 12th man type player.
If the Warriors can net a trade exception, a second round pick, and Rakovic for Watson I'll be impressed. If they can steal a first round pick from the Magic for Watson I will be amazed. Neither move is going to directly help the Warriors improve one bit on last season's 29 win disaster, but that's still some good stuff.
Building off what my another one of my partners in trying to make some of the slowest parts of the NBA offseason interesting JAE noted earlier in Belinelli Traded, World Does Not End: State of the Warriors after the trade, Nellie and Riley seem to be going out of there way to stockpile trade exceptions and expiring contracts (Speedy Claxton- $5.2 million, Acie Law- $2.2 million, Devean George- $1.6 million, and possibly Brandan Wright- $2.7 million). Who knows if they'll land a major impact player before opening night Wednesday October 28th at the Roaracle against the Yao and TMac-less Houston Rockets (see 2009-2010 Golden State Warriors Schedule + 82 "Unstoppable Baby!" Predictions) with these cap friendly contracts- fingers still crossed- but I do expect them to be major trade players in-season and at the 2010 trade deadline. Remember that's when Speedy had his most amazing act for the Dubs the first time around (see Warriors Acquire Two-Time All-Star Baron Davis From New Orleans- Warriors.com).