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?
Because, according to the source, 1) he feels he deserve more; and 2) the Warriors don’t really have plans for him; 3) why give the Warriors a bargain when they wouldn’t pull the trigger on a trade with Orlando and put him in a better situation?
The reality is that Watson is the third PG behind Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. That is certainly not a good place to be when you had plans on being entrenched as the back-up somewhere (especially when that somewhere could’ve been Eastern Conference contender Orlando).
Watson, according to the source, figures if he’s going to be on the bench for the forseeable future and miss out on a chance to play big minutes elsewhere, he might as well get the money he thinks he deserves (which is obviously above $2 million per year). Plus, there is the very real possibility that Ellis gets hurt and/or Curry struggles as a rookie and Watson ends up averaging 25 minutes and starting 30 games and not being rewarded for it next offseason.
So Watson is likely to take the Q-offer and hit the market next season, banking that he will stay healthy and have a productive season. Watson has not signed the offer sheet yet because the Warriors maybe putting together another offer.