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Mavericks to sign Yuki Togashi

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Remember that short Japanese kid who stood out during the Summer League? Yeah, he’s back. The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly close to signing Yuki Togashi, who played for the Mavericks’ summer league team this past summer.

Togashi, a 5’6 point guard from Niigata, Japan, previously played in the BJ League, a Japanese professional league, for the Akita Northern Happinets. Now, he’s trying to make it in the big leagues, and from what he did in the summer league, he might have a good chance to at least make a team.

Togashi displayed exceptional speed and played without fear against players who were almost double his size. He definitely stood out among the many players in the Summer League and made a name for himself. He showed an all-around game, displaying his IQ for the game, smart passing, solid perimeter shooting, and a couple of nice floaters in the lane.

It’s always good to see a hard worker get rewarded for his efforts, especially for people that are 5’6, and the Mavs have given Togashi such a reward by signing him. This should actually be a familiar feeling for Mavs fans. Remember that Taiwanese kid named Jeremy Lin? Yeah, he started off with the Mavs Summer League team too.

Here are some of the best highlights of Togashi’s impressive Summer League play:

While the best case scenario for Yuki Togashi would be to turn out like Lin, it is unfortunately an unlikely scenario that he ends up with that much success in this league. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely rooting for this guy to succeed in the NBA, especially because I can personally relate to the size issue, but the unfortunate reality of basketball is that players his size very rarely end up being regular rotation players in this league.

The first step for Togashi, however, is to perform well in the preseason, and then the D-League, which is where his rights will automatically end up if the Mavs end up waiving him, a likely scenario given the fact that the Mavs have so many non-guaranteed contract already. Togashi will spend the rest of the preseason with the Mavs though before heading off to the Texas Legends, so he may have a small chunk of minutes toward the end of the preseason to impress some NBA GM’s on a big stage.

While the chances of Yuki Togashi becoming a success are slim, I can’t help but admire his work ethic and attitude. There’s always a spot on a team in this league for players that work their butts off and hustle every single play, and I see Togashi being that kind of player. After all, the NBA is where amazing happens.

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