Yuta Watanabe had a a great Summer League run with the Brooklyn Nets. Coming into the Summer League, there were many questions hanging over his head. He had a solid four-year career at George Washington, but, to say the least, he exceeded expectations.
He is a great shooter. Watanabe not only shoots well from behind the arc but is a solid mid-range player. He likes to shoot corner jumpers and can really light up the scoreboard. The Japanese native was one of Brooklyn’s go-to options on the offensive end.
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His driving game is strong. The 6-foot-9 forward can finish through traffic and either throw up an acrobatic lay-up or slam it home. One key area of his play is his decision making. He makes very smart decisions with the ball regarding passing or shooting.
Watanabe can pass the ball at a high level and makes his teammates play better.
On the defensive end, he is a force. He is not afraid to step in and contest a drive. Watanabe uses his size and length to his benefit. His long arms can poke the ball out of player’s hands or swat their shots. He had four steals and six blocks in five games in the Summer League.
Overall, he had a very impressive Summer League run. He was one of the team leaders in minutes played with 24.0 per game and made the most of each minute. It is a no-brainer for Brooklyn to invite him to training camp.
Now, he is not quite NBA-ready but should make the Long Island Nets roster. He can fit really well into the Nets offense and proved his defensive game is strong. It would not be surprising to see Watanabe make a Nets appearance sometime during the 2018-19 season.