Warriors' C.J. Watson Can Only Go to Magic in Sign-and-Trade
Why? Because the Magic are out of money.
Orlando has used up all of its mid-level exception on free agent forwards Brandon Bass and Matt Barnes, and it does not have its bi-annual exception, either.
The Magic were said to be considering extending an offer sheet to Watson last week before signing Barnes, but according to a league source Orlando was convinced the Warriors would match their offer.
Also complicating the issue is that Watson already may have a multi-year contract offer in front of him -- for three years, $4.5 million -- from the Warriors, according to the source.
Watson, who averaged 9.5 points per game in 77 games last season, rejected a one-year, $2.3 million offer sheet from the Philadelphia 76ers, according to various reports.
The best offer the Magic could make for Watson at this point is a salary starting at $825,497, which is the minimum salary for a player with two years experience. But Watson is currently sitting with a qualifying offer from the Warriors for 2009-10 for $1.05 million.
"I want to play with Orlando," Watson told RealGM.com. "With the four All-Stars and (coach) Stan (Van Gundy). ... I would play more and get to contribute. Stan is a much more active coach on the sideline too and I feel like I could learn a lot from him. They also run a lot of pick and roll and I like that."
The Warriors have 14 players under contract, not including Watson. The Warriors already have guards Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Acie Law, Speedy Claxton, Marco Belinelli and Anthony Morrow on their roster.
Follow Steinmetz on Twitter: @matt_steinmetz