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?
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).
It’s hard to feel bad for anyone who has $4.5 million in his reach, but Watson could easily be the undisputed back-up point guard on another team. And he probably could land $2-$2.5 million a year.
So, should Riley just let Watson walk, considering how crowded the backcourt is? Is $1.5 million too much for a third point guard? Or, is this good GM tactics? Are you happy about the prospect of having Watson back at this price?