Nets sign forward Yuta Watanabe to a one-year deal

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Nets sign forward Yuta Watanabe to a one-year deal

The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward Yuta Watanabe to a one-year contract. According to multiple sources, this is a non-guaranteed training camp deal.

Watanabe went undrafted out of George Washington in 2018. The 6’9″ forward signed a two-way contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.

After the Nets signing, Watanabe took to Twitter. The tweet in Japanese below translates to this message: “Many congratulatory comments would be appreciated, but this is still a camp contract with no warranty. I will do my best again with a cliffhanger spirit.”

In his rookie 2018-19 season with the Grizzlies, through 15 appearances off the bench, the forward averaged 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. Plus, he averaged 29.4% shooting from the floor.

With the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ NBA G League affiliate, the rookie averaged 14.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 blocks in 33.9 minutes played per game.

Then, during the 2019-20 season, Watanabe averaged 2 points and 1.1 rebounds per game in 18 games played. Also, he averaged 44.1% shooting from the field and 37.5% from 3-point range.

Nets sign forward Yuta Watanabe to a one-year deal

In the G League, the forward averaged 17.2 points, 6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 22 games started for the Hustle. On January 22, 2020, he scored a career-high 40 points in the Hustle’s 122-92 win over the Delaware Blue Coats.

Not to mention, Watanabe was named Midseason All-NBA G League for the Western Conference.

Furthermore, months later on Nov. 27, Watanabe signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Toronto Raptors. In 50 appearances, the George Washington product posted career-high numbers in the NBA.

In addition to recording career-highs 14.5 minutes, 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, he shot 43.9% from the field and 40% from downtown with the Raptors.

Of course, his two-way deal was then converted into a standard contract on April 18, 2021.

Now, the forward is entering his fifth NBA season. His offensive production intrigued Nets G.M. Sean Marks.

While with the Toronto Raptors last season, he was assigned and recalled from the Raptors 905, the team’s G League affiliate.

Moreover, in 38 games played off the bench with Toronto last season, Watanabe averaged 4.3 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. He shot 40.6% from the floor and 34.2% from long range.

On Dec. 14, in Toronto’s 124-901 win against the Sacramento Kings, the forward ended his performance with his first career double-double. He amassed 12 points and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

Twelve days later, Watanabe closed out his outing with career-highs 26 points and 13 rebounds in his team’s 144-99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The forward earned his second double-double of his NBA career.

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