Grizzlies wing closing in on career-altering decision: Report

Memphis Grizzlies v Detroit Pistons
Memphis Grizzlies v Detroit Pistons / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

Soon after the Memphis Grizzlies closed the book on their putrid 2023-24 campaign back in late April, veteran wing Yuta Watanabe decided to share via his personal Instagram account that he intends to decline his $2.6 million player option for the 2024-25 season and continue his professional career back in his native country of Japan.

Now, nearly two months since this new break, it appears the 29-year-old is inching closer to finalizing his career-altering move, as Donatas Urbonas of reported on X (previously known as Twitter) Tuesday morning that Watanabe is "widely expected to join the Chiba Jets," according to his sources.

Grizzlies wing Yuta Watanabe nearing deal with JBL Super League team

The Jets have proven to be one of the JBL Super League's top clubs over the last several campaigns, as they've accumulated a stellar record of 131-31 over the three years heading into this season and are just coming off a season where they reached the semifinals of Japan's B1 Division and won the East Asia Super League.

Now, they'll be adding on the services of Watanabe who, throughout his six-year NBA journey, has managed to establish himself as a highly efficient long-range sniper.

In 213 games played in the association, the vet finds himself boasting averages of 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds on 37.0 percent shooting from distance.

This past season, while splitting his time between suiting up for the Toronto Raptors and then the Memphis Grizzlies, he was used quite sparingly, as he saw just 34 games of action and posted averages of 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in only 13.6 minutes per contest.

With this move back overseas, the hope for Watanabe is likely that he'll be able to come across more playing time and, in turn, aid in the Jets' efforts to reign supreme out in the Super League yet again.