The news has been coming out fast and furious from NBA organizations during day one of free agency. Is there a Vin Diesel sighting in our future? Quite possibly. The Phoenix Suns are building their family.
The team is impressively building their depth and with every new notification comes a fist pump and a high-five. Well, if you are around your fellow Suns’ fans. If you’re not, you give yourself an awkward fist pump and smile. Phoenix is kicking some butt on free agency day one.
One target that has been discussed prior to free agency beginning has been Kevin Durant’s former teammate while with the Brooklyn Nets last season, wing Yuta Watanabe.
As Dave King stated earlier this week:
Watanabe, age 28, makes a ton of sense here in Phoenix. He’s tall (6’9”), plays with a great deal of effort on both ends of the floor, and can make threes (career 39%). This will be Yuta’s 6th season in the NBA, one of which was with Durant in Brooklyn before he got himself traded to Phoenix. He’d previously played two seasons each with the Raptors and Grizzlies.
Last season, Yuta set career highs across the board, including minutes (16.0 per game), overall shooting percentage (49.1%), three-point shooting (44.4%).
He was even better with Durant on the team, shooting 52.3% on threes and 55% overall in 18 minutes per game before Durant went down to his knee injury and, ultimately, got traded. After the Durant trade, his minutes dipped to 9.7 per game as he played behind Mikal Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith and Cam Johnson. He shot only 27% on threes after the trade as well.
The rumor is now reality as he has joined the Suns.
His addition, along with that of Drew Eubanks, Keita Bates-Diop, and Chimezie Metu, adds wing depth, size, and scoring to a team that lacked both last season. Just two months ago in the postseason there was no one the team could rely on. James Jones is not just taking that script and flipping it, he’s dousing it in gasoline and setting it aflame.
Get used to this guy; you’re going to love him.