The Phoenix Suns are sending forward Yuta Watanabe to the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade, the two teams said Thursday.
The 29-year-old Watanabe will return to Memphis four seasons after his first stint with the Tennessee-based team with which he made his NBA debut in the 2018-19 season. The trade involved three franchises including another of Watanabe's former teams, the Brooklyn Nets.
The Suns acquired Royce O'Neale from the Nets and David Roddy from the Grizzlies while sending forward Keita Bates-Diop, guard Jordan Goodwin and three future second-round picks to the Nets. Big man Chimezie Metu, Watanabe and a 2026 first-round pick swap went to the injury-hit Grizzlies.
Watanabe signed a two-year contract with the Suns last July after establishing himself in the league in stints with the Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors and Nets.
His three-point percentage has dipped from 44.4% in the 2022-23 season to 32.0% with the Suns. Watanabe has averaged 3.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per game for Phoenix.
The Grizzlies are 13th in the Western Conference standings with an 18-34 record.
After reaching the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, the 2023-24 season has been difficult for the Grizzlies.
Star guard Ja Morant missed time early due to a 25-game suspension before injuring his shoulder and undergoing surgery in January that ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
With Morant, guards Desmond Bane and Marcus Smart as well as forward Brandon Clarke all amid extended injury absences, Watanabe may receive more playing time than he did on the star-studded Suns.