Yuta Watanabe has been a breakout star for the Brooklyn Nets this season and caught the eye of his star teammate. Kevin Durant recently advocated for the team to lock him down for the future before other suitors come calling.
Back in 2018, Watanabe got his first chance in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies. It was unclear if he'd be able to hang around the league, but new developments in his game have changed a lot of people's minds.
So far this season, the 28-year-old has been an incredible pick up for the Nets. He is in the midst of a career year, especially with his three-point shooting. Yuta Waranabe is currently leading the entire NBA in three-point percentage at an incredible 57.1%. His volume is still low, but the efficiency is eye-popping.
During a recent episode of his podcast, Kevin Durant gushed over his newest teammate. Now that he's burst on the scene, he feels the Nets need to act quickly to keep him in Brooklyn going forward.
"If we don't lock him down, a lot of people are going to want him."
Yuta Watanabe is playing himself into a big pay day
Kevin Durant put it best. With the way Yuta Watanabe has been playing this season, a lot of teams are going to come calling in free agency. If the Brooklyn Nets don't act fast while they have control, they might lose their stellar addition.
As everyone knows, the three-point shot has become the focal point of the modern NBA offense. Contenders do everything they can to surround their stars with as many reliable knockdown shooters as possible. Part of why Watanabe has thrived is because of his ability off of guys like KD and Kyrie Irving, who garner a lot of attention.
With his new and improved outside shot, Yuta Watanabe has become an extremely valuable role player in the league. Standing at six-foot-nine, he has all the makings of a solid three-and-D wing.
Given that two-way wings are a premium in the league, Watanabe is playing himself into a big pay day this offseason. Multiple contenders are sure to have their eyes on him after seeing what he's done for Brooklyn this year.
For the Nets, they should be doing everything they can to keep Yuta Watanabe for the foreseeable future. Finding players who understand their role and thrive in it are hard to come by. Seeing how he's been able to complement the star players, retaining him should be near the top of their priority list.