C.J. Watson?s future may be uncertain but if it were up to him, he?d be a member of the Orlando Magic.
?I want to play with Orlando," said Watson in an interview with RealGM's Alex Kennedy. "With the four All-Stars and Stan [Van Gundy].?
The third-year point guard wants to don the blue and white Magic uniform come November but isn?t sure how or if it will get done. On Tuesday, Orlando reached an agreement with swingman Matt Barnes which could be a temporary roadblock in the Magic also acquiring Watson.
?I?m not sure if they can sign us both. I don?t think they can, that?s what I?ve heard. But I?ve also been told it may be possible so I?m not really sure,? said Watson who has yet to officially sign an offer sheet with Orlando although negotiations are ongoing.
As a restricted free agent, the Golden State Warriors also have the option of matching any offer sheet and according to Watson, it?s not a given that they?ll let him walk.
?The Warriors might match," said Watson. "That?s what I?m hearing, that they may want to keep me,? he said. If Golden State doesn?t keep the Las Vegas native, they?ll likely want some sort of compensation through a sign-and-trade with Orlando.
?I heard they were talking about it [a sign-and-trade] if Golden State would agree,? said Watson.
Despite the setbacks, Watson is still adamant about joining the Magic.
He echoed these sentiments on his Twitter account posting, ?This business is so cutthroat why can't they let me just go and further my career why hold me back? and ?Magic fans I hope we can get this thing done? hopefully golden state doesn?t match.?
Watson feels that as a member of the Magic, he can grow as a player with the playing time he would receive and with guidance from 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.?
But the 6?2" point guard also feels he can strive in Orlando defensively.
?I like the defensive focus on the Magic. I?m a player who puts defense first and I tried to make a name for myself with my defense. The effort will always be there,? he says.
Watson doesn?t just want to leave Golden State, he wants to be Orlando bound. Before serious negotiations with the Magic began, he turned down a one year, $2.3 million dollar offer from the Philadelphia 76ers and also rejected the New York Knicks, who showed interest early on.
Watson?s stellar play off the bench in Golden State made general managers across the league take notice of him. Averaging 9.5 points and 2.7 assists in just 24.5 minutes each game, he proved himself when given starter?s minutes. When playing thirty minutes or more, Watson averaged 15.9 points including a 38 point, 9 assist performance as well as a 20 point, 12 assist game in the Warriors finals games of the season.
Being one of four point guards on the Warriors? roster, Watson became expendable. In Orlando, however, he would be the team?s backup point guard in relief of Jameer Nelson. ?There?s too many guards. Sometimes you have to move on,? said Watson via Twitter.
In the coming days, we will see if Watson can in fact move on as a member of the Magic. How that will happen remains to be seen but there?s no doubt the interest is very strong from each side.