The Summer League performance of Toronto Raptors guard Jeff Dowtin was impossible to ignore that he ended up signing a two-way contract with the team after the year concluded. He likely will find himself playing for the Raptors 905 but is he worthy of a bigger role with the NBA Raptors?
After watching Justin Champagnie rise from an undrafted two-way to a valuable contributor and countless other G League talents wiggle into the rotation in the last few seasons, expecting a player like Dowtin to provide some punch at the pro level is not unrealistic.
While he is an older player at 25 years old, and there are younger players with a higher ceiling on their potential on the Raptors’ roster, The Rhode Island alum looked like a poised and capable NBA veteran during Summer League thanks to his speed and finishing at the rim.
Dowtin is also a good decision maker with the ball who could make an ideal backup to Fred VanVleet if given enough seasoning in the G League. What are the chances that we see Dowtin play some sort of role with the big league club this season?
Will Jeff Dowtin have an impact on the Raptors?
He makes an interesting conundrum for the minds of Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster. Failing a trade, the Raptors already have 12 guaranteed contracts. They also have a log jam of players who could play the backup point guard spot like Malachi Flynn and Dalano Banton.
"“Jeff Dowtin is a quality player that’s in on the Summer League team with also a lot of eyeballs on him…”We’re really evaluating him strongly.”"
It’s extremely hard to ignore Dowtin’s breakout party at this year’s summer league. Against Miami, Dowtin scored 16 points on 4-9 shooting with eight rebounds and five assists. Even in the Raptors’ worst Summer League effort, a 93-83 loss to the Chicago Bulls, Dowtin was steady with 16 points on 7-11 shooting and was a +4 for the game.
He would make a great bench option for Nurse to rely upon after a season in which Toronto’s bench was among the league’s least productive. If his command of the offense translates from Summer League, he would also give the team someone they can trust as a floor general who can allow VanVleet adequate rest during games.
Dowtin is in a numbers crunch regarding his opportunity to rise up the ranks in Toronto. His summer league audition has still given him a shot at regular NBA work either with Toronto or anywhere in the NBA.