ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Orlando Magic front office officials promised to be active in free agency this offseason and began the signing period Thursday by acquiring free agent veteran point guard C.J. Watson, and sending big man Kyle O’Quinn to the New York Knicks in a sign-and-trade
Terms of the Watson deal were not released. But in the O’Quinn deal the Magic will receive cash and the option to swamp second round draft picks with the Knicks in 2019.
The 31-year-old Watson, who will compete to serve as the primary backup to second-year guard Elfrid Payton, is entering his ninth NBA season. He spent the past two in Indiana and averaged 10 points and 3.6 assists in 57 appearances last season.
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”I just thought it was the best situation at the time to come in with the young corps group that they have, and just hopefully try and be a positive impact to the team and hopefully get them to the playoffs.”
Watson said he thinks he brings some needed playoff experience, shooting and defense to a Magic roster that has eight players under the age of 25.
Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said the fact that Watson came into the league as an unsigned free agent after stints overseas and briefly in the NBA’s Developmental League show his ”willingness to grind” and should fit in well with the personalities on their roster.
”We value that type of thing,” Hennigan said. ”I think it just says that he’s hungry. He wants to compete. He wants to play well. He’s gotta fight to make the team and that’s not new territory for him. He’s used to that. We like that about him.”
Watson is the first of three signings the Magic are expected to announce in the coming days.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press last week that restricted free agent forward Tobias Harris had agreed to sign a four-year, $64 million deal to remain in Orlando. In addition, free agent big man Jason Smith tweeted Wednesday that he had also agreed to a new contract with the Magic.
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