• Kyodo


Toronto Raptors forward Yuta Watanabe has signed a standard NBA contract, the club said Monday, enabling the Japanese player to make an unlimited number of appearances for the top team this season after he joined on a two-way contract in December.

The 26-year-old Watanabe spent the past two seasons at the Memphis Grizzlies, also on a two-way contract, which allows a player to play a limited number of games for a top team while also playing for its affiliate.

The 206-centimeter Kagawa native has so far averaged 4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 13.4 minutes in 39 games for the Raptors in the NBA, making one start.

On Sunday, Watanabe followed his NBA career-high scoring outburst with another personal milestone, scoring in double digits for a third straight game as the Raptors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-106.

The forward chipped in 10 points to go with four rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes off the bench at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, shooting 3 for 6 from the field, including 1 for 2 from deep.

The double-digit scoring streak is the longest of Watanabe’s three-year NBA career and includes his career-best 21 points in a win against the Orlando Magic on Friday.

Forward Chris Boucher led all scorers with 31 for the Raptors, who improved to 24-34 with their third win in a row.

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