After getting drafted with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 NBA G League Draft, Paul Watson had a successful rookie season where his defensive ability and perimeter game was on display every night. He continued his professional career in the New York Knicks’ organization when he competed with the team in Summer League.
Summer League came to an end and his second season was around the corner. Watson detailed how the Knicks wanted to bring him back and how he felt a return to the team was best for him.
“Going into the summer, I got to play in Summer League with the Knicks,” Watson told Ridiculous Upside. “They wanted to bring me back (on an) Exhibit 10 (deal). I just felt like this was the best place for me to come back and try to advance my game. I was familiar with the system and with the coaching staff, so I feel like it was just the best opportunity for me to try to get to that next level.”
In his second season, Watson showed he could be the defensive anchor on one of the top defensive teams in the G League. Westchester head coach Mike Miller praised his defense in the playoff game against the Windy City Bulls by having him guard their leading scorers. He also came up with an emphatic block in that game, which was one of the top plays of the season.
“I feel like I’ve definitely become more of a defensive presence this year,” Watson said. “That was kind of my role last year; just being a guy to come in, bring energy, defend, and make the open shot. Definitely being a lot more aggressive and just being that defensive anchor and trying to put guys in the right spots.”
The 6’8” forward showed he could be productive on the offensive end. While he didn’t need the ball in his hands, Watson showed he could drain perimeter shots and used his athleticism to finish strong at the rim. He shot 45.5 percent from three in nine games in February, while averaging 13.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
When his season came to an end, Watson’s name was written in the franchise’s record book. He suited up in 98 games (including three postseason games), which is the second most games played. He is second in three-pointers made (99) and sixth in rebounds (396). Watson felt that he started out his career in a great situation with the Westchester Knicks.
“I couldn’t be in a better place. I’m in one of the best places in the G League,” Watson said. “Everybody in the organization. It’s a great group of people. They do nothing but try to put me in the best situation. I’m truly grateful for that. I wouldn’t want to be with any other spot.”
He continued by stating he greatly improved his game during his time in Westchester and formed countless bonds with his teammates.
“I can just definitely say I’ve gotten better since my first year,” Watson said. “I’ve developed a lot of great relationships. I’ve played with many different guys. The bonds that I’ve made can’t be broken. I just couldn’t ask to be in a better place.”