The two-year contract with the Grizzlies is over and we are looking for a new team The Raptors have Yuta Watanabe join the training camp, The Athletic reported.
Watanabe signed a two-way contract with Grizzlies in 2018 off and played while going back and forth between Grizzlies and the G League Memphis Hustle. In his second year, he played 18 games in the NBA last season, averaging 5.8 minutes of playtime, scoring 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds. Although the number of games played has increased compared to the first year, the play time has been halved from 11.6 minutes, and all stats such as points, rebounds and assists have been dropped.
He has played 22 games in the G League, averaging 32.7 minutes of playtime with 17.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 blocks. Although he is showing ace-class activity in the G League, in Grizzlies, priority is given to the appointment of young people in the same position as Jaren Jackson Jr., Brandon Clarke, Josh Jackson, and even if Watanabe is able to appeal in the G League It was a difficult way to get a chance to play in the Grizzlies.
Watanabe himself recalls about the past year, “I think I was able to play an undisputed role in the G League, but I was keenly aware that the NBA is still lacking.”
Now that the two-way contract has expired and I became a free agent, the concrete movement has finally surfaced. The Raptors are the NBA champions of the last season and are teams that use a variety of defensive tactics to win under Nick Nurse.
The team defense, which prepares multiple cover links for the ballman and thoroughly chase the shooter, flexibly repeats the switch and rotation, and the matchup is changed frequently. This seems to be a good match for Watanabe, but on the other hand, it is a team that requires the highest degree of cooperation in the league, and it is not easy for new players to match. How much you can show your tactical adaptability in a short training camp is a big factor in winning this contract.
It is likely that he will participate in the training camp by signing an Exhibit 10 contract, which is a contract form that assumes participation in the camp before the opening.
The Grizzlies’ two years, especially last season, the second year, didn’t lead to a chance at the NBA, no matter how active they were in the G League. Rather than Watanabe’s ability, it seems that he was tied to a two-way contract even though it did not fit the Grizzlies team concept. Ultimately, the goal is to conclude this contract now, but for that purpose it is important for Watanabe to first appeal that his playing style is useful for the team. Yuta Watanabe’s style, which can be protected in any position and can handle high-speed transitions, may be addicted to the Raptors. I hope you can win a good contract.