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For C.J. Watson, It's Not About the Money

Sep 10, 2009 – 11:53 AM
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Matt Steinmetz

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C.J. WatsonNext time you hear a professional athlete say "It's not about the money," don't scoff. We've got a legit one here. For Warriors' guard C.J. Watson, it's actually not about the money. At least not right now.

We know this because rather than take a three-year guaranteed contract with the Warriors worth $5.4 million, Watson is taking just a one-year deal worth $1.05. That's a lot of money to walk away from.

Particularly because next offseason, Watson will be in the same position he was in this offseason as a restricted free agent. Watson didn't want to commit long-term to the Warriors because he doesn't see himself as a long-term Warrior.

At the same time, Watson believes he'll have a good opportunity to contribute this upcoming season, which will put him in a more advantageous position a year from now.

"It was pretty much about playing time," Watson said. "This is where I thought I could get a significant amount of time, and I didn't want to lock myself in for three years. I thought this would be the best opportunity."

Watson had said earlier in the summer that he wanted to play for the Orlando Magic, who were making a run at him through a sign-and-trade. That didn't materialize. Earlier in the summer, Watson turned down a one-year, $2.3 million offer from the 76ers.

Asked to elaborate on his decision to walk away from the three-year deal, which included a player opt out for Year No. 3, Watson said: "It is unsettling. I realize it's a gamble. I took a chance and I have confidence in my abilities. Everybody knows that coach (Don) Nelson plays with different lineups and can put anybody out there at any time. I think I'll have chances to go out there and perform."

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