2. Make Yuta Watanabe a top offensive option
Watanabe was thrust into a primary offensive role with so many players out, and he did a solid job of making himself known. With 26 points and 13 rebounds, Watanabe proved that he is a much more refined offensive player than what fans were subjected to in Tampa last year.
Watanabe is not only a 36% 3-point shooter on a somewhat high volume, but he is also willing to go right to the basket and create for himself. Watanabe shouldn’t just be relegated to spot duty in the next few games. He’s shown he can be more than capable of an enhanced offensive role as the roster gets back to full health.
Yuta Watanabe will get tons of responsibility for the Toronto Raptors.
Assuming that it takes some time for Siakam and Trent to get back to full strength, what are the alternatives? A poor shooter in Dalano Banton? The uneven Mykhailiuk? A player that has been pitiful from 3-point range in Chris Boucher? Toronto needs to trust Watanabe.
Yuta has been an exemplary case of Toronto’s player development working wonders. He came to this team as a defensive sparkplug, and he has emerged as someone capable of being one of the featured attacking options. His workload will drop when Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes return, but No. 18 could put up some career numbers.