Following the third and final preseason game after the Miami Heat, the Toronto Raptors made their training camp cuts to trim the roster down to the necessary 17 — 15 main roster players and a pair of two-way players.
The Raptors chose to convert Paul Watson Jr.’s two-way deal to a main roster contract and signed Yuta Watanabe, who was on a training camp deal, into the two-way slot vacated by Watson. The Raptors waived Oshae Brissett (a two-way player last season) and training camp bodies Henry Ellenson and Alize Johnson in corresponding moves.
Watanabe is the second Japanese player to play in NBA history, making his debut in 2018 with the Memphis Grizzlies. (Rui Hachimura has since become the third.) He has impressed in the preseason, with Nick Nurse in particular raving about his game.
While Watanabe doesn’t figure to be a part of the regular rotation, we’ve seen as recently as last year that everyone on the roster can get their chance over the course of a full season, although we hope that the injury bug doesn’t hit like it did last season.
Considering the success that the Raptors have with their player development system, we’re sure that Raps fans are going to be excited to see Watanabe in action.