Brooklyn Nets sharpshooting forward Yuta Watanabe isn’t going anywhere.
The Nets will guarantee Watanabe’s one-year deal, along with veterans Edmond Sumner and Markieff Morris, per Hoopshype’s Mike Scotto.
Watanabe has been a revelation in Brooklyn this season with his defense and much-improved shooting. The Japanese forward is averaging career-high 7.7 points and 3.0 rebounds off the bench while shooting a league-best 51.4 percent from the three-point zone.
Sumner has played solid minutes as a backup point guard, averaging 6.8 points and 1.4 assists. He tended the Nets’ backcourt when Kyrie Irving was suspended for eight games due to an anti-semitic controversy. The veteran point guard averaged 11.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 10 games without Irving this season.
Meanwhile, Morris is averaging 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 48.7% from beyond the arc. But more than those numbers, he’s provided toughness and a veteran locker-room presence for a Nets team that has finally played drama-free after a rocky start that led to Steve Nash’s firing.
The 25-13 Nets are tied for the second seed in the Eastern Conference with the Milwaukee Bucks after their 12-game losing streak was snapped in Chicago last Wednesday.
With their key bench players securing guaranteed deals for the remainder of the season, the Nets can now focus on starting a new winning streak Friday against the shorthanded New Orleans Pelicans, who are missing their top players Zion Williamson (hamstring) and Brandon Ingram (toe).
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