C.J. Watson gives Indiana Pacers a much-needed backup point guard upgrade


C.J. Watson gives the Indiana Pacers a backup point guard whom they can actually use in the playoffs. Plus, some thoughts on other guard free-agent signings.

Some quick thoughts on some smaller guard signings that have taken place over the past 10 days:

C.J. WATSON: The former Brooklyn Nets point guard inked a two-year contract with the Indiana Pacers for the bi-annual exception on the first day of free agency. This was an excellent move by the Pacers, who badly needed to upgrade on the lost D.J. Augustin behind George Hill. Watson's style fits in better with the Pacers' post-oriented attack, and he's much more sure-handed as a ball-handler. Watson also gives the Pacers the ability to play small in the backcourt in certain matchups, something they were scared to do with Augustin. Nearly 39 percent (589 of 1,521) of Watson's minutes came with Deron Williams, according to NBA.com. All in all, a great, great value signing. GRADE: A

WAYNE ELLINGTON: The former Grizzlies and Cavaliers guard signed a two-year, $5.5 million deal with Dallas. Ellington is incredibly streaky, but he quietly had a pretty decent stretch in Cleveland after getting dealt from Memphis in January. Previously incapable of doing anything but shoot, Ellington developed his shot-fake-and-drive game, allowing himself to get to the free throw line more often. I'm not sure why the Mavericks desperately need him given their backcourt situation, but for the price of the Room exception, he's useful. GRADE: B

TONEY DOUGLAS: After a decent bounce-back season split between Houston and Sacramento, Douglas signed a one-year, $1.6 million deal to be Stephen Curry's backup in Golden State. Douglas is a limited ball-handler and creator, but he can hit an open three and is very solid defensively. He'll never be the kind of player the Knicks were initially hoping he'd be, but he's much better than he showed in a disastrous 2011-12 season. He's a particularly good fit in Golden State because Andre Iguodala can mask some of his ball-handling shortcomings, assuming Mark Jackson staggers their minutes appropriately. Nice signing. GRADE: A-

REGGIE WILLIAMS: A number of injuries in Charlotte derailed a promising beginning to Williams' career, but he can certainly score if healthy. The Rockets' decision to give him a two-year minimum deal is a nice gamble. GRADE: B-

OMRI CASSPI: Replace "injuries" with "shooting slump and general stubbornness about his role," and this is basically the same blurb as Williams. GRADE: C+

JORDAN FARMAR: I'm not quite sure why Farmar and the Lakers parted ways in the first place, but after a decent stint in Turkey, he's back on a one-year deal. I see no reason why he can't take Steve Blake's minutes next year and then capture a long-term contract in 2014. GRADE: B

ANTHONY MORROW: Morrow is one of the league's best shooters ... and he can't do anything else at a passable level. Nevertheless, the Pelicans badly need spot-up shooters alongside Black Hole Sons Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans, so Morrow is a good fit and won't cost any more than the minimum. GRADE: B+

GIGI DATOME AND GAL MEKEL: I don't know anything about them, so I'm not going to say any more. GRADE: Incomplete.

More from SB Nation:

Ziller: Cavs can't lose with Andrew Bynum deal

Report: Howard wanted Lakers to end Kobe era

A night at the "Penis Monologues"

The difference between Jeff Teague and Brandon Jennings

Flannery: The best (and worst) from NBA free agency | Free agency grades

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.