3 best players the Phoenix Suns got on minimum contracts.
2. Yuta Watanabe
Yuta Watanabe was a fantastic get by the Suns this offseason. So good in fact, that for a long time he was seen as a dream target. One who made a lot of sense, but who the team would face too much competition in trying to secure. Getting him on a minimum deal was a masterstroke.
The upside to Watanabe is obvious, and it is also huge. He has a relationship with Durant going back to their time on the Brooklyn Nets together last season, and Durant seems to be a fan of Watanabe’s as well. Any time Durant likes you and your game, you know you’re onto something good.
Watanabe was also remarkable from deep last season, leading the league in corner 3-pointers made and making a sizzling 44.4 percent overall. Whereas Okogie will be left open a lot by choice, Watanabe will find himself with all the space in the world as a result of sharing the court with Durant, Booker and Beal. Opponents are going to hate it.
Even if he cools off some with his shooting, which is always going to happen over the course of a long season, Watanabe will still make enough shots to force opponents to pick their poison. That shooting touch will open the court up even more for his superstar teammates, and it will lead to some nights when the Suns blow teams away.
Watanabe may not be known as a good defender, and Okogie is the better of the two. But he is very tall and plays on that end with grit and determination. He will be targeted sometimes, but Watanabe is also going to surprise some with how he’s able to stand up for himself defensively. It is amazing he is along for the ride on a minimum deal in 2023-24.