3 Phoenix Suns who have to go in the New Year

The Phoenix Suns need all hands on deck in 2024 to turn their season around, but these three players should not be part of the team by then.
Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns
Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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2. Yuta Watanabe

Has there been a more disappointing player for the Suns this season than Yuta Watanabe? Signed this offseason on a deal that most didn't believe the team would be able to get him on, Watanabe was supposed to be the 3-point sniper who had chemistry with Kevin Durant going back to their time on the Brooklyn Nets together.

Instead Watanabe has played 16.2 minutes per game across 21 contests, with zero starts. His 3-point shooting has been nowhere near the insane productivity (44.4 percent) of a season ago, and is way down at a not nearly as helpful 33.3 percent so far this campaign. Watanabe has done this while taking more shots from deep (3.3) than at any other time in his career to date.

Most frustratingly of all though, the Suns actually needed Watanabe to step up and be even better than he was for the Nets last season. With Beal out injured and both Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon being called upon more than they would have thought, a gap opened up for a player to come off the bench and stretch the floor and knock down the open looks that were going to come their way.

That should have been Watanabe, but instead everybody from Jordan Goodwin to Nassir Little, and even Chimezie Metu, have gone off in games or had stretches where they have stepped into that role. None of these players are going to last the season doing that, but it is now clear that it won't be Watanabe either. Trading him now while he still has some value makes the most sense for the Suns.