Yuta Watanabe (18) of the Toronto Raptors high fives a teammate during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 18, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. (NBAE/Getty/Kyodo)

The Toronto Raptors have signed forward Yuta Watanabe to a standard NBA contract, the team announced.

Watanabe’s deal covers this year and next year, notes Blake Murphy of The Athletic.

This season, Watanabe is averaging 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 13.4 minutes per game in 39 games (one start) as a two-way player.

The 26-year-old has had a bigger role recently with the Raptors having several key players in and out of the lineup, as he is averaging 14.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, while shooting 60.9 percent from the field in his last three games.

Watanabe recorded a career-high 21 points on April 16 against the Orlando Magic.

While he has shot the ball well, he is valued more for his defensive ability and energy off the bench.