2. Yuta Watanabe, Brooklyn Nets
Watanabe was as beloved a player as one could be for someone who was stuck at the back end of the roster for most of his career. After lasting in Toronto for two seasons thanks to his heart and hustle, Yuta was eventually let go and allowed to join the rival Nets on a cheap deal.
Watanabe may not be the most dominant offensive player, but he is certainly leaps and bounds better than he was when he joined Toronto. On defense, there’s plenty to like about a 6-9 forward who can run the floor, play on the perimeter, and block shots. The Nets got a good one.
Yuta Watanabe could hurt the Toronto Raptors with the Nets.
Watanabe is joining a Nets team that currently lacks amazing defense, yet will always try to put as many shooters on the court as possible. Having made minor improvements in that area during his Raptors tenure, Watanabe has a combination of talents that fit what Steve Nash wants from his wings.
While he wasn’t always the most consistent player on the roster, there’s still talent left to be mined for Watanabe. The Nets have their eyes on a championship, and Yuta may help them out. That first game back in Toronto will earn him a nice reception from the crowd who fawned over him for two years.