July 20, 2010
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday that former Tennessee point guard C.J. Watson (2003-06) has joined the Chicago Bulls following a sign-and-trade agreement with the Golden State Warriors.
Watson, 26, spent the last three years with Golden State, averaging 8.7 points, 2.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game. Last season, Watson averaged 10.3 points on 46.8 percent shooting with 2.8 assists per game. He averaged 27.5 minutes and started 15 games.
"We are so proud of C.J.," UT head coach Bruce Pearl said. "He's a great role model. This summer he was here in Knoxville working toward his degree, knowing full well he was getting ready to sign a big contract. That speaks volumes about his character and his commitment to finish something he started."
A native of Las Vegas, Nev., Watson scored a career-high 40 points this past season while leading the Warriors to a win over Sacramento Feb. 17. He also scored 38 points in a victory over Utah in April 2009.
The Warriors reportedly received a 2011 second-round draft pick in return for Watson, who was a restricted free agent. Full terms of Watson's contract with Chicago have not been disclosed.
"It's been kind of a whirlwind," Watson told ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell. "Especially [Monday] since everybody found out. I got a lot of phone calls and a lot of things from friends and family. It's been a great time and everyone's excited for me, and I'm excited to get out there.
"Everyone's told me great things about Chicago, the city. Especially since it's the place where [Michael] Jordan played. And going in there with so much tradition and history, it's going to be fun to go out there and play every night and play in front of those fans."
Watson was a second-team All-SEC selection as a UT senior in 2006. He ranks second in Tennessee history in career assists (577) and career steals (198) while ranking third in career steals per game (1.7) and fourth in career assists per game (4.85).
With 1,424 career points as a Vol, Watson ranks 17th on Tennessee's all-time scoring list.