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Yuta Tabuse, who became the first Japanese to play in the NBA last year with the Phoenix Suns, signed a contract for the upcoming season with the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, the NBA team said on its Web site.

News photoYuta Tabuse, who became the first Japanese to play in the NBA last season with the Phoenix Suns, signed a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

The team did not disclose the terms of the contract per team policy.

Tabuse, 24, will join the team’s camp in Santa Barbara, Calif., beginning Oct. 4, aiming to debut in their season opener scheduled for Nov. 2 following preseason games in October.

Free-agent guard Tabuse made his debut with the Suns in their season opener last Nov. 3 and played in three more NBA games, but was given limited playing time and released Dec. 18.

During the time he belonged to the Suns, he missed 16 games due to a right quadriceps strain.

After failing to land a deal with another NBA team, Tabuse played for his former team, the Long Beach Jam of the American Basketball Association, an independent minor-league team.

In 2003, Tabuse was the final cut by the Denver Nuggets prior to the regular season.

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