Ranking 12 Phoenix Suns free agent targets with ties to Kevin Durant

Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
6 of 12
Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant
Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant, Yuta Watanabe. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

7. Yuta Watanabe

The Suns need depth pieces on minimum contracts, and one of KD’s former teammates from the Nets is a perfect candidate. Watanabe averaged 5.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game in Brooklyn this season, including making 44.4 percent on his 3-point attempts. The 6’9 forward is a comfortable catch-and-shoot option that will certainly help space the floor wherever he lands next season.

Whether or not Chris Paul returns, the Suns will want the ball in the hands of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and whoever plays point guard next season. They will have two elite scorers and would love to have spot-up shooters around them, which they desperately lacked in the playoffs.

Watanabe shot 45.7 percent on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers this season, and Durant assisted on 15 of his triples when he was still in Brooklyn. The two had a connection, and the 13-time All-Star heaped praise on the 28-year-old on his podcast.

"“I think I might have to tell him at this point, relax a bit. He flying around everywhere. I look up, and Yuta’s on the floor. He flipped over somebody, he’ll try to chase a rebound, fall, and hop back up so quick. I’m about to start telling him, yo, we need you on the floor bro. I know you’re playing so hard, but some of these possessions, you might just have to jab at it a little bit and wait for the next opportunity. That’s probably something he’ll ignore me on because he plays extremely hard on every possession.”"

Durant also praised his jumper and made it clear that the 6’9 forward should have plenty of interest around the league. Fans can hear all the KD had to say about Watanabe at the link below.

Could the legend convince Yuta Watanabe to take less to join him in Phoenix? Expect Kevin Durant to try this summer as the Suns would love to have his shooting, energy, and play coming off the bench next season.