Yuta Watanabe, F
Watanabe was one of the more sneaky pickups the Suns made this offseason. We heard that Kevin Durant tried to recruit him there as soon as the Suns’ superstar heard Watanabe was a free agent. There is a reason, too. Sure, they played together in Brooklyn with the Nets, but there’s more to it than that. Watanabe showed that in the first preseason game.
In his Suns’ debut, he finished with 10 points, four rebounds, two steals, and one assist. He was really doing it all in a role that was valuable off of the bench. The Suns will easily need that this year.
One thing he showed, though, the biggest reason the Suns added him, was his three-and-d potential. He played great on-ball defense when guarding the ball, and his help defense was not too shabby, either. His awareness of the passing lanes was great.
The three-point shot was looking great, even though he was just 2-6 on the day. However, the release was quick and smooth, and he didn’t dip it into the shooting pocket much, which helped with getting the ball off quicker. Watanabe was good, even if his stat line was pretty average. Fans are going to love him in Phoenix.