The Toronto Raptors likely didn’t have to think very long and hard about the decision to release wing Joe Wieskamp following his poor play in Summer League. While he came alive in his final showing, it’s hard latching on as a 3-point shooter who can’t shoot very well.
The Raptors now have one vacant spot on their roster, which coincidently came when rumors hinted they would like to sign one more point guard to solidify the bench. With a good deal of veterans still out there, signing them to a minimum deal might not be the worst idea in the world.
The other option, of course, is looking at one of the many Raptors players from yesteryear that did not play on a full NBA contract and rewarding them as such. Backup point guard Jeff Dowtin was one player that deserved a proper deal last year, yet never received one.
With Wieskamp gone and the money that could be allocated to his deal now free to be spent, Dowtin could solidify his spot on the bench and make himself a trusted backup. All Masai Ujiri has to do is get the appropriate paperwork to his agent and secure his signature.
Toronto Raptors could sign Jeff Dowtin after Joe Wieskamp’s release.
Dowtin’s 2.4 points and 1.2 assists per game might not seem like anything worth holding onto, but the context is important. Those numbers were weighed down by garbage time stints at the end of games, and he finished the season ahead of Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn in the rotation.
Dowtin became a fan favorite due to histenacious defensive play, speed while handling the ball, and playmaking skill. While he is not a needle-mover on the floor, the fact that he was not signed to an NBA contract so that he could be available in the postseason was an odd move.
While some would argue that Dowtin’s presence in the rotation was a byproduct of Flynn not developing, Dowtin should be heralded for seizing the opportunity put in front of him. If nothing else, he’s shown that he doesn’t look out of place as a rotation point guard when called upon.
Masai Ujiri has been very open in the past with his praise of Dowtin and his insistence that the Rhode Island product will be a part of the Raptors going forward. The end of Wieskamp could be a golden chance for Dowtin to cement himself.