Yuta Watanabe has heard his spot.
The Toronto Raptors have signed the 26-year-old Japanese forward to a full standard contract, the team announced Monday morning.
It's been an incredible season for Watanabe who has thrived in his first real chance for NBA minutes. He's shown the kind of defensive know-how that Raptors coach Nick Nurse has always appreciated. Offensively, Watanabe's game is still developing but there have been real reasons for optimism and he's begun to show some more selfish tendencies and take the shots the Raptors need him to take.
Statistically, he's averaged 4.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 13.4 minutes in 39 games after beating out Alize Johnson, Henry Ellenson, and Oshae Brissett in training camp for Toronto's final two-way spot.
The deal will reportedly include a second year for Watanabe, according to The Athletic's Blake Murphy, though the financial terms of the contract have not been made public.