Should Yuta Watanabe be a Brooklyn Net next season?

The Brooklyn Nets have an interesting offseason ahead of them as they figure out the best way to move forward as a franchise. When it comes to what players are on the roster for next season, per Jakob Ashlin of Fansided, wing Yuta Watanabe will not be one of those players.

Watanabe, 28, came to the Nets on a one-year contract before the start of the 2022-23 season after spending two seasons each with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors. In this past season for Brooklyn, Watanabe averaged 5.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game while shooting 49.1% from the field and 44.4% from three-point land.

As of right now, Watanabe is an unrestricted free-agent who could be on the radar of other teams because of his ability to shoot the basketball and be a disruptor on the defensive end. He had a coming out of sorts as he reached career-highs in his shooting percentages as well as his scoring per game figures.

Here’s why Ashlin believes that Watanabe will be playing for another team for the 2023-24 season:

“Watanabe was sensational for the Nets in limited action. He shot 44.4 percent from three, which was tied for the fourth-highest mark in the NBA (minimum 100 attempts). He was also third on the team in true shooting percentage (63.7 percent), trailing only Nic Claxton and Kevin Durant.

The additions of Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Dorian Finney-Smith moved Watanabe down the depth chart. He had a decrease of 7.6 minutes per game following the All-Star break. In the playoffs, he logged only four total minutes.

Watanabe is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Given his breakout season, he is an appealing role player on the open market. The Nets did not aggregate real minutes to him in the playoffs, so I do not expect them to offer him the MLE to retain him.”


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Story originally appeared on Nets Wire