Free Agent Notebook, Day 3: C.J. Watson | Magic Basketball



Jul 03

Free Agent Notebook, Day 3: Matt Barnes, C.J. Watson, and More

To better make sense of the madness that is free agency, especially considering their historical ramifications within the framework of the NBA, I’m going to aggregate any facts and rumors that pertain to the Orlando Magic into a notebook-type post. The posts will be constructed daily at 12:00 PM EDT and updated throughout the day. Make sure to check back when updates are made available. I’ll post a time-stamp at the beginning of the posts to make it easier for you, the reader, to know about the latest news. I’ll make notifications on Twitter, too. As the free agent period begins to wind down and the Magic fill out their roster, the notebooks will be posted sporadically — every few days or so. I know my friend and former colleague, Ben Q. Rock, is doing a similar thing at Orlando Pinstriped Post (without the updates, I believe) so I’ll try to mix things up as much as possible to avoid redundancy.

Also, if you happen to come across any free agent or trade news related to the Magic, feel free to pass it along in the comments section and you’ll get a hat tip in the post for the scoop.

With that said, let’s get to it.

UPDATED as of 9:59 PM EDT.

– Matt Barnes, last update at 5:36 PM EDT on July 3

Via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

[Matt] Barnes’ case is the most complicated of all. The Magic’s biggest nightmare is if a team offers Barnes something far above the $1.92 million per year the Magic can spend using the non-Bird exception. If that happens, Orlando could use all or part of the midlevel exception to re-sign Barnes. But using the midlevel exception would leave less money for the Magic to land a free-agent point guard such as C.J. Watson to serve as Nelson’s backup.


– Derek Fisher, last update at 12:13 PM EDT on July 3

Via Scott Howard-Cooper of

Orlando is an interesting alternative, and realistic in every way. It just so happens that Fisher stepped on the Magic’s throat about this time last year with a pair of late buckets in Game 4 that helped turn the championship toward Los Angeles. That’s as close as they got to a title… and now he’s the guy who may be seen as being able to help them get closer. Rich.

Jameer Nelson is the starter, but backups Jason Williams and Anthony Johnson are both free agents. The Magic obviously need someone in that role. Someone, preferably, with a track record of making a difference in the playoffs. Someone, ideally, who knows how to command respect and get in the face of teammates with much bigger contracts.


– C.J. Watson, last update at 5:38 AM EDT on July 3

Via Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD:

The Orlando Magic are continuing to take a “wait and see” approach to free agency. The team feels like the deals offered around the league have been outrageous and wants to wait until the spending calms down before pursuing any players. With Steve Blake off of the board, the Magic are expected to focus their attention on restricted free agent C.J. Watson, whom they targeted last offseason.


— Jason Williams, last update at 8:30 PM EDT on July 3

Via Sam Amick of NBA FanHouse:

There is an assumption around the league that [Jason] Williams doesn’t want to leave Florida, mainly because that’s the message he sent back in 2008. He walked away from a one-year deal with the Clippers, announcing he would retire before attempting to get reinstated only to sit out a year after six of the league’s teams voted against his immediate return (the vote had to be unanimous, per league bylaws). […]

Tobin — who believes Williams is in good enough shape to play four more years — said Williams isn’t restricting his option to the Sunshine State, saying, “It is free agency and we are certainly willing to listen.” Orlando is certainly considering bringing Williams back, although general manager Otis Smith might continue in his attempts to land a bigger-name point guard first. New York is also believed to be interested.


Check back for updates throughout the day.