KNOXVILLE -- Former Tennessee basketball player and six-year NBA veteran point guard C.J. Watson (2003-06) has reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with the Indiana Pacers.
Watson, who averaged 6.8 points and 2.0 assists in 80 games with the Brooklyn Nets last season, had a player option for $1.1 million but opted out to become an unrestricted free agent. He shot a career-best 41.1 percent from 3-point range last season.
He reportedly will be signed for two years with the bi-annual salary cap exception (close to $2 million yearly). NBA free-agent deals aren’t official until after July 10 when the moratorium period ends.
In Indiana, Watson likely will replace unrestricted free agent D.J. Augustin as the main backup to starting point guard George Hill.
Under head coach Frank Vogel, the Pacers finished the 2012-13 regular season with a 49-32 record and earned the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. They advanced to the conference finals, where they fell to eventual world champion Miami in seven games.
Watson will become the third former Vol to suit up for the Pacers, joining forwards Dyron Nix (1989-91) and Marcus Haislip (2004-05).
Watson earned second-team All-SEC honors as a senior with the Vols in 2005-06. His 577 career assists rank second in school history, as do his 198 career steals.
Nicknamed “The Quiet Storm,” Watson played this past season with the Nets after spending the previous two years with the Chicago Bulls – both of which resulted in NBA Playoff appearances. He was a member of the Golden State Warriors from 2008-10, breaking through as a free agent after garnering the attention of NBA personnel executives with his steady play in Europe.
Through six NBA seasons, Watson averages 7.6 points and 2.5 assists in 385 career games with a 2.32 assist/turnover ratio. While he was with the Warriors, he scored a career-high 40 points against the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 17, 2010.
To view Watson’s NBA bio page, click HERE.
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(E-mail Stan Crawley at email@example.com)