Tennessee basketball best NBA career No. 8: C. J. Watson
C. J. Watson is a 6’2 point guard from Las Vegas who played for the Volunteers in the early 2000s. He was a fringe Top 100 prospect in the Class of 2002 and earned All-SEC honors by the end of his college career. He started all but one of the 119 games he played at Tennessee, averaging 12.0 points and 4.8 assists per game across his entire career.
Only two SEC players had more career assists than Watson when he left Knoxville, so it’s not a surprise that he got a chance in the NBA. The road wasn’t easy, as Watson was undrafted and played his first two seasons internationally before starring in the D-League.
The Golden State Warriors gave him his first shot in 2008 and he spent the next nine years playing for five different NBA franchises. He was never a big star or a consistent starter, but he was a reliable guard off the bench; he also averaged in double figures in two separate seasons in his career.
It took more than 18 months between graduation and finding his way into the NBA, but Watson turned in a decent career. He’s Tennessee’s all-time leader in most statistics among undrafted players, and his numbers were certainly solid as well. At the very least, he’s a memorable piece for fans of teams like the Warriors, Chicago Bulls, and Indiana Pacers.