Raptors look like a team who needs Jeff Dowtin Jr. in loss to Celtics

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 02: Jeff Dowtin Jr. #20 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 02: Jeff Dowtin Jr. #20 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have a very interesting roster decision to make with point guard Jeff Dowtin Jr. relatively soon. Masai Ujiri’s decision on this move might have some severe implications as the Raptors get prepared for play-in tournament competition.

Dowtin, who was signed to a two-way contract earlier in the season after becoming a star in Summer League play, has performed so well that he has often been trusted with backup point guard workloads. Malachi Flynn and Dalano Banton were hyped draft picks, and Thad Young is a proven vet, but Dowtin leapfrogged both of them.

Dowtin was ineligible for Toronto’s road game against the Boston Celtics after reaching the maximum allotment of games he can participate in. Toronto will need to decide if they want to keep him long-term or roll with their current bench, bringing an end to his Raptors tenure.

Toronto’s game against the Boston Celtics illustrated how two off-ball shooting guards like Gary Trent Jr. and Will Barton are out of their element as primary ball handlers. Despite a magnificent game from Pascal Siakam, Boston prevailed 97-93. The bench scored 18 points, and 16 of them were from Precious Achiuwa! Dowtin’s value was proven several times over tonight.

The Toronto Raptors must retain PG Jeff Dowtin Jr.

While spirited performances from the starting lineup helped propel Toronto for most of the action, the bench was once again a letdown. Even though Nurse went ten players deep, only Achiuwa could break through Boston’s mighty defense.

One player who makes sense to part ways with in order to bring Dowtin in is former Spurs second-round pick Joe Wieskamp. While he is a much better shooter than Dowtin, letting a quality player wither on the fine for the benefit of a seldom-used benchwarmer who will likely compete for a roster spot next preseason seems odd.

Dowtin may not be the most high-octane scorer, but his quality defense and nonstop motor will help Toronto against play-in teams like the Bulls while also proving to be a genuine nuisance for top Eastern Conference teams like Milwaukee and Boston.

Considering how Justin Champagnie plans to sign with the Celtics, that goes to show that the league will not hesitate to scoop up some of the Raptors’ disregarded prospects whenever they become available. Toronto risks losing Dowtin forever if they don’t give him a contract soon.

Next. 7 players the Raptors gave up on too soon. dark