Warriors guard C.J. Watson is set to take the qualifying offer, I learned for sure today, and shun the Warriors’ offer.
Get this, the Warriors, I’m told, had even upped their offer to three years, $5.4 million (up from three years, $4.5 million) and gave him a player option for the third year. Still, Watson, a source said, is planning on signing for just over a $1 million and becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Why would he do that, you ask? Why would he pass up more than $4 million of guaranteed money?
I wasn’t able to get a hold of Stephen Jackson, but I did confirm with a team source (and another NBA player) that Jax wants out of Golden State. He’s even hired an agent to find him a trade.
After proclaiming aloud that he didn’t think he’d be with the Warriors next season — before a crowd at a Protege block party in New York, no less — he told Dime Mag that the Warriors know about his desires to bounce.
Here are the highlights of his Dime Mag interview.
On when he made the decision
“It’s not about a decision I made. It’s just things are in the air right now. I really can’t get too much into it right now, but I’m just looking to go somewhere where I can go and win a championship.”
On where he wants to play
“Either Cleveland, anywhere in Texas or out here with Al (Harrington) in New York.”
On being in Nellie’s system
“I loved it. It gave me a chance to show everything I could do on the court. It was great for me, but at this point, I’m 31 years old. I have four or five years left, I want to be in a situation where I can continually be in the playoffs and get another ring. So that’s where my mind is at now.”
Thought you may be interested in this.
2009-10 NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION KEY DATES
(Sorry in advance for any such typos. I am typing this from my phone from the parking lot, and I am heading home, so I don’t have time to edit.)
Was having a discussion with my man. He seemed to think the Warriors are going to make the playoffs this year. I don’t.
What tripped me out wasn’t that we disagreed, but that he thought I was “smoking dope” because I didn’t see the possibility. His certainty caused me to at least pause and ask myself: am I just being a cynnical journalist and missing something? So, I spent some time analyzing it. My conclusion:
Nellie said it was possible in his post-draft interviews about Curry. Larry Riley said he thought it was likely, especially come December. A few players on the roster have said, as far as they’ve heard, the Warriors want rookie guard Stephen Curry to be the starting point guard.
Whether or not he can, is this a good idea at all? I am having a hard time seeing how this can work.
First, he made an offer to C.J. Watson, one that the Warriors would even agree is a bit of a bargain, though still fair.
Then, he put the word out that the Warriors would match any offer sheet Watson signs in the ballpark. A team would have to jump high, perhaps more than they think Watson is worth, to scare off the Warriors. If they did sign Watson to an offer sheet, that salary cap space is frozen for a maximum of seven days, all so the Warriors can decide to match in the end anyway. So, why would another team sign Watson to an offer sheet?
Warriors just released the schedule. Season starts Oct. 28 at home vs. Yao-less, Ron Artest-less Houston.
Golden State’s road schedule consists of three (3) five-game road trips, two (2) four-game road trips, one (1) three-game trip, five (5) two-game trips and five (5) one-game out-and-back trips. Additionally, the Warriors will play 20 sets of back-to-back games this season, with 11 of the back-to-back sets falling on the road, five (5) starting at home and ending on the road, and another four (4) beginning on the road and ending at home.