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Former Jazz PG Earl Watson signs with Portland
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Another Jazz player has found greener pastures in free agency. Point guard Earl Watson on Saturday agreed to a one-year, $1.4 million contract, putting him in a position mentor Rookie of the Year and former Weber State star Damian Lillard.

Watson, 34, spoke to Jason Quick of The Oregonian, saying, "At this point in my career, I look at this as an opportunity to mentor one of the best young point guards in the league in Lillard ... and CJ too,'' Watson said. "I want to make them better on and off the court, and be a positive role model if they need it. I've been blessed to be around some great minds ... I want to give that knowledge back, give back to the game, but still come in and be ready. But I will do so knowing my role.''

Watson missed the first month of last season after undergoing surgery on his knee in April 2012, and later discovered he played most of the season with a sports hernia. Watson signed with the Jazz in 2010 to back up Deron Williams and play for coach Jerry Sloan. Both were gone before March. Last season, Watson averaged 2 points and 4 assists in 17.3 minutes per game.

— Bill Oram

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