Trail Blazers sign guard Earl Watson

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed veteran free agent guard Earl Watson, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Watson, 34, owns career averages of 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.02 steals and 22.6 minutes in 12 NBA seasons with Seattle, Memphis, Denver, Oklahoma City, Indiana and Utah. As a veteran, it’s expected Watson will just provide backup minutes off the bench.

“Earl is a consummate professional and one of the most competitive players I have ever been around,” said Olshey. “His leadership, command presence and ability to affect games with his defense are attributes we value highly, and specifically targeted in our search for players at his position.”

Watson (6-1, 200) spent the past three seasons playing for Utah, where he averaged 2.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 17.3 minutes in 48 games last season.

UCLA’s all-time leader in steals (235) and minutes played (4,371), Watson was selected by Seattle with the 40th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft.

He will wear No. 25 for the Trail Blazers.