On Sunday, the Nets made an official announcement about signing free agent forward Yuta Watanabe.
Watanabe was given a standard one-year NBA contract. The Nets presently have 12 players on guaranteed agreements, two players on non-guarantee contracts, and one player on a two-way agreement, as indicated by Nets sources. NBA groups can send 20 players to training camp beginning on Monday for a four-week time span.
Watanabe, a 6-foot-9 wing, played 121 games throughout the span of four seasons with the Toronto Raptors (2020-22) and Memphis Grizzlies (2018-20). In his two games, he arrived at the midpoint of 3.8 places, 2.5 bounce back, and 12.0 minutes played per game (40.9 percent from the field, 35.2 percent from 3-point range, and 66.7 percent from the free toss line).
Yuta averaged 4.3 points on 40/30/60 shooting splits in 11.7 minutes over 38 games. During 2020-21, he played 50 games for the Raptors and averaged 4.4 points, and hit 40% of his three’s. Watanabe ranked in the 94th percentile in defensive rebounding percentage.
In addition to his NBA experience, Watanabe has featured in 56 NBA G League games between the Memphis Hustle and the Raptors. He has averaged 15.5 points per game while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and averaged 33.5 minutes of play from long range with 6.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks at a rate of 34.8% and 82.7% from the field.
He has also represented Japan at the national level, scoring the most points for Japan at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Watanabe, who graduated from George Washington in 2018 without being selected, participated for the Nets in the Summer League. Watanabe signed a two-way contract with Memphis after his Summer League stint. Before the 2020–21 season, he signed with the Raptors.
Since Joe and Clara Wu Tsai acquired ownership of the Nets in October 2019, he is the first Asian player the team has signed. He and Cam Thomas both originated from the Kanagawa prefecture of Japan. When Thomas was born, his mother was a member of the American Air Force. He joined a Net roster packed with Joe Harris, Royce O’Neal, T.J Warren, and Edmond Summer.