Last season certainly didn't go Yuta Watanabe's way, but the 27-year-old forward is hoping for one more chance with the Toronto Raptors next season.
Watanabe told Sports Hochi, a Japanese publication, that he loves the Raptors and wants to continue with the team next season. He plans to go over his options with his agent and team before making a decision for next year.
Toronto signed Watanabe to a two-year partially guaranteed deal down in Tampa after he surprisingly broke camp with the team and proved he deserved more than a two-way spot on the roster. There had been optimism that he'd be a rotation player for the Raptors this past season, but injuries and up-and-down shooting throughout the year proved problematic.
He averaged just 4.3 points on 40.6% shooting and 34.2% three-point shooting across 38 games for Toronto.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse repeatedly praised Watanabe for his high IQ defensive abilities and his relentless hustle. He said Watanabe was often the next player off the bench had the Raptors needed one more player in the rotation. The offense, however, was just lacking more often than not and Toronto couldn't count on him to nail his shots.
It's possible Watanabe gets invited back for training camp next season and another shot to compete for a roster spot, but don't be surprised if his Raptors tenure has come to an end.