Paul Watson

Spurs Sign, Waive Paul Watson, Erik Stevenson

OCTOBER 12: Watson and Stevenson have been waived by the Spurs, per’s transaction log.

OCTOBER 10: The Spurs have signed free agent wing Paul Watson and guard Erik Stevenson, per RealGM’s transaction log. According to Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link), both players received non-guaranteed training camp contracts.

Watson, 28, played in Germany briefly after going undrafted out of Fresno State in 2017, but has since bounced back and forth between the NBA and the G League. The 6’6″ guard/forward with some three-and-D potential, appeared in 46 total NBA games for the Hawks, Raptors, and Thunder from 2020-22, as well as 142 regular season and Showcase Cup NBAGL contests for the Westchester Knicks, Raptors 905, and Oklahoma City Blue from 2017-22.

Stevenson went undrafted earlier this year after playing five college seasons at four different schools. As a super-senior at West Virginia in 2022/23, he averaged 15.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 34 games (26.0 MPG) and posted a shooting line of .430/.379/.796.

In all likelihood, both Watson and Stevenson signed Exhibit 10 contracts that will make them eligible for bonuses worth up to $75K if they’re waived by San Antonio and then spend at least 60 days with the Spurs’ G League affiliate in Austin.

San Antonio now has a full 21-man preseason roster.

Joe Johnson, Langston Galloway Among Team USA Players For World Cup Qualifiers

USA Basketball has announced its 12-man roster for the next two qualifying games for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The team, coached by Jim Boylen, will be made up of G League players and current free agents. Here’s the roster:

With the exception of Ryan, all of the players on Team USA have some NBA experience, though some are certainly more accomplished than others. Johnson has earned seven All-Star berths and has appeared in 1,277 career regular season games. Bell, Black, and Galloway have also each played in more than 160 career regular season contests.

The 2023 World Cup will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia next August and September. Teams play 12 qualifying games before then — those contests take place across six windows, with World Cup hopefuls playing twice during each window.

Team USA went 1-1 in its first two qualifying games in November, defeating Cuba but losing to Mexico. Boylen coached that team and Bowen played for it, but the other 11 roster spots have since been turned over, with Isaiah Thomas among the players who aren’t back this time around. The new-look squad will face Puerto Rico on February 24 and Mexico again on February 27.

After this month’s games, the remaining four qualifying windows are scheduled for June, August, November, and next February. While the next two windows fall outside of the NBA season, the expectation is that USA Basketball will continue using G-Leaguers for the qualifiers before recruiting NBA stars for the event itself next summer.

As our JD Shaw reports (via Twitter), forward DaQuan Jeffries had been expected to be part of Team USA’s roster for this month’s qualifiers, but had to de-commit due to an injury.

Thunder Sign Lindy Waters III To Two-Way Deal

The Thunder have signed Lindy Waters III to a two-way deal, the team announced. To make room for Waters, OKC waived Paul Watson.

Waters is a native of Norman, Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State in college. He went undrafted after his senior season in 2020. Through 25 games with the Blue this season, OKC’s G League affiliate, Waters has averaged 11.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, and 1.8 SPG on .548/.513/.941 shooting.

Watson, 27, has bounced around the past few years. He signed a 10-day contract with Atlanta in 2019/20 before catching on with the Raptors for a two-way deal. That deal was converted into a standard contract last season after Watson had a strong performance with the club, but he was waived in August 2021.

Through nine games with the Thunder this season, Watson averaged 3.4 PPG and 3.0 RPG. He struggled mightily with his shot, putting up a .343/.231/.500 shooting line in just 17.3 MPG.

Thunder Notes: Roby, Watson, Deck, Player Development

After playing a regular role for the Thunder in 2020/21, Isaiah Roby has been one of the odd men out of the frontcourt rotation so far this season, appearing in just 10 of the team’s first 20 games. However, with Derrick Favors and Kenrich Williams unavailable on Monday, Roby logged a season-high 27 minutes. He put up 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and was a plus-five in a game the Thunder lost by 13 points.

As Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes, Roby has accepted his reduced role, telling reporters on Monday that he understands it and is just doing his best to stay ready. While Roby made a case for more playing time on Monday, head coach Mark Daigneault said there are still some things he wants to see from the forward on a consistent basis before reinserting him into the rotation.

“The things we’ve talked about is his rim protection and pick-and-roll coverage, which I thought was good at times (on Monday),” Daigneault said. “And then offensively just kinda being a floor-spacing, ball-moving, drive-and-kick player.”

The Thunder can make Roby a free agent in 2022 by turning down the team option on his minimum-salary contract, so if he continues to play limited minutes going forward, it’s possible his days in Oklahoma City are numbered.

Here’s more out of OKC:

  • Paul Watson, who is on a two-way contract, made his Thunder debut on Monday. Oklahoma City is a young team and two-way deals are typically reserved for younger players, so the choice to fill one of the club’s two-way slots with Watson (27 next month) is somewhat unusual. “You can’t develop 10 20-year-olds at the same time,” Daigneault explained, per Mussatto. “You’ve gotta have a level of functionality and allow people to develop in context. Otherwise you’re just kinda rolling the balls out and just hoping that the experiences are just adding up.”
  • Here’s more from Daigneault on the Thunder’s rebuild and the decision to try to develop players like Watson and 26-year-old Gabriel Deck: “It’s not a requirement moving forward that all of our players have to be 22. We have to continue to mine for opportunities with everybody.”
  • Having played in just five games with the Thunder this season, Deck has been assigned to the G League to get him more playing time, tweets Mussatto. The Argentine forward is a EuroLeague veteran, but has appeared in just 15 NBA contests since arriving in Oklahoma City late last season.

Thunder Sign Paul Watson To Two-Way Contract

After opening up one of their two-way contract slots by waiving Josh Hall, the Thunder have filled that opening by signing Paul Watson to a two-way deal, reports Kelsea O’Brien of (Twitter link).

Watson, 26, made his NBA debut with Atlanta, but spent most of the last two seasons with the Raptors, having signed a two-way contract with Toronto in January of 2020. The former Fresno State standout had that deal converted to a standard contract for the 2020/21 season, then was released last month before his ’21/22 salary became guaranteed.

During his time with Toronto, the 6’6″ swingman appeared in 35 games, averaging 4.1 PPG and 1.7 RPG on .475/.466/.706 shooting in 10.5 minutes per contest. He spent most of his time in 2019/20 with the Raptors 905 in the G League, putting up an impressive 19.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.9 APG on .495/.423/.648 shooting in 30 NBAGL games (35.3 MPG).

Watson and Aaron Wiggins are now Oklahoma City’s two-way players. The team has 18 players under contract, including 13 on guaranteed salaries and three on non-guaranteed deals, leaving a pair of openings on the 20-man training camp roster.

Raptors Waive Hood, Bembry, Watson

The Raptors have waived DeAndre’ Bembry, Rodney Hood, and Paul Watson, according to a team press release. All three players had non-guaranteed contracts for the 2021/22 season.

According to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports, the Raptors had always planned to waive Hood, who was acquired as part of the team’s trade of Gary Trent for Norman Powell, unless they could use his contract as filler in another trade. Lewenberg also suggests the decisions to waive Watson and Bembry indicate the team is either looking to create added cap flexibility or will simply go elsewhere with its end-of-bench roster spots.

Hood has been a productive player since being drafted 23rd in the 2014 draft by the Jazz, but staying healthy has been a challenge for the 6’7 lefty. Hood fractured his hand after coming over to Toronto, putting an early end on the least productive season of his career.

As we relayed earlier today, Hood already has a deal lined up with the Bucks, who are looking to add more shooting for next year’s playoff run.

In a separate tweet, Lewenberg reports that Toronto’s plan is to waive backup center Aron Baynes before his guarantee deadline tomorrow unless his money is needed in trades, and will retain Chris Boucher through his Sunday guarantee date.

Baynes came over as a free agent in the hopes that he would help stabilize the center position upon the departure of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, but his lone year with the Raptors was a disappointment, with the 34-year-old Australian unable to carve out a role for himself. Boucher, meanwhile, has been a massive development success for the Raptors, turning into a solid rim-protector and three-point shooter in his fourth season.

Raptors Notes: Lowry, Ujiri, Bembry, Watson

During the hours leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline, Michael Grange of tweeted that the Sixers and Raptors appeared to be “at the one-yard line” in their discussions on a Kyle Lowry trade. Obviously, those talks didn’t make it into the end zone and Lowry ended up staying put. But Sam Amick of The Athletic hears that Toronto did feel at one point as if a deal with Philadelphia was close.

According to Amick, the deal would have included Danny Green, who would’ve been re-routed to a third team. It’s a safe bet that at least one of Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle would have been part of the package too. However, the draft compensation involved in the proposed trade was the obstacle that held things up, a source tells Amick.

Following up today on the Lowry discussions, Grange says (via Twitter) that the Sixers knew Miami was Lowry’s preferred landing spot, so they had to view him as a possible rental. That limited what they were willing to offer beyond Maxey, Grange adds. The Lakers were in a similar boat with Talen Horton-Tucker, writes Josh Lewenberg of, while the Heat were unwilling to offer Tyler Herro for a player they could theoretically sign in free agency this summer.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • While the Raptors didn’t trade Lowry at the deadline, it’s hard to shake the sense that more drastic changes could be coming as soon as this offseason, Grange writes for While Lowry could sign a new contract with Toronto, it seems just as likely that he could head elsewhere, possibly in a sign-and-trade deal.
  • Like Lowry, Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is also on an expiring contract, and while he spoke glowingly about the franchise on Thursday, he gave no indication that an in-season extension is around the corner. “We’ll visit this at the end of the season at some point,” Ujiri said of his contract with Toronto, per Grange.
  • During his media session on Thursday, Ujiri addressed the idea that the Raptors’ asking price for Lowry was too high: “I was surprised (the offers) weren’t better because, to be honest, I’ve viewed him as somebody that can go out and put a stamp on what you can do this year. … I’ve lived it, I’ve seen it… I know what the guy does. I know who he is. And that’s the truth. So, yeah, we’re going to (be) skewed in some kind of way and I’m biased in many ways with the players we have and I hope I’m pardoned that if I valued him too much, but that’s what I believe in today.”
  • Raptors reserves DeAndre’ Bembry and Paul Watson have entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and won’t play on Friday night, tweets Josh Lewenberg of

Raptors Notes: Anunoby, Tampa, Harden, Watson, Davis

After signing a four-year contract extension with the Raptors on Monday, OG Anunoby said that he decided to prioritize long-term security over attempting to maximize his potential earnings with a strong contract year.

Just not knowing what the future holds and just securing something,” Anunoby said in explaining his motivation, per Josh Lewenberg of (Twitter link). “Risk, reward… We definitely thought about it. We considered it. We went back and forth, for sure.”

Anunoby, who is already an excellent defender, said on Tuesday that he believes he’s capable of more on offense than he has shown, tweets Lewenberg. If that’s the case, his four-year, $72MM contract could end up being a steal for the Raptors. Either way, the deal won’t prevent the team from opening up enough cap room to pursue an impact player or two during the 2021 offseason, as Lewenberg writes at

Here’s more on the Raptors:

Watanabe Gets Two-Way Deal From Raptors; Watson Promoted To Main Roster

11:06am: Watson’s new contract is a two-year, minimum-salary deal with a $350K partial guarantee in year one, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic.

8:55am: The Raptors have converted Yuta Watanabe‘s camp contract to a two-way deal, according to’s transactions page. Paul Watson, who joined the team on a two-way contract last season, has been promoted to the main roster.

Watanabe, 26, saw minimal playing time with the Grizzlies over the past two years, playing mostly in the G League. The small forward appeared in 33 total games for Memphis, and averaged 2.0 PPG in 18 games last season.

Watson, a 25-year-old shooting guard, played 10 NBA games in 2019/20. He signed with Toronto in January, one day after being waived by the Hawks.

Both players performed well during the Raptors’ three preseason games, sealing their spots on the regular season squad. Watanabe put up 14 points and 11 rebounds in 30 total minutes, while Watson had 11 points, five boards, and three blocked shots in 29 total minutes.

The Raptors’ roster, which includes 15 players on standard contracts and two – Watanabe and Jalen Harris – on two-way deals, is now set for the regular season.

Raptors Cut Oshae Brissett, Alize Johnson, Henry Ellenson

The Raptors have waived forward Oshae Brissett, forward Alize Johnson, and big man Henry Ellenson as they move closer to setting their regular season roster, the team announced today.

Brissett, who went undrafted out of Syracuse in 2019, spent his rookie year on a two-way contract with Toronto, appearing in 19 games for the NBA team and 30 for the Raptors 905 in the G League. He averaged 14.9 PPG and 6.6 RPG in 30 games (27.8 MPG) at the NBAGL level.

Since Brissett’s new multiyear deal with the Raptors had a $300K partial guarantee in year one, the club will remain on the hook for that money unless he’s claimed off waivers on Monday.

Johnson was the 50th overall pick in the 2018 draft and spent his first two professional seasons under contract with the Pacers. The 24-year-old logged just 182 total minutes in 31 games at the NBA level over those two years, but posted big numbers for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League, with 19.5 PPG, 13.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG on .514/.363/.699 shooting in 50 career NBAGL contests.

The 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Ellenson has bounced around from Detroit to New York to Brooklyn since entering the league, appearing in just 81 total games over four seasons. The former Marquette standout, who is still just 23 years old, started last season on a two-way contract with the Nets but was waived in January.

Both Johnson and Ellenson were training camp invitees who always looked like long shots to make the Raptors’ regular season roster. Johnson’s deal was non-guaranteed, while Ellenson had a modest $50K guarantee.

The Raptors are now down to 15 players on standard contracts and a pair on two-way deals, but will likely make a couple more roster moves before their regular season squad is locked in. According to Kelsea O’Brien of (Twitter link), current two-way player Paul Watson is expected to be promoted to the standard roster. Camp invitee Yuta Watanabe appears likely to fill Watson’s two-way contract slot, notes Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link).