The Toronto Raptors waited until the 11th hour to use up their 15th and final guaranteed contract, as they agreed to a one-year, $3.2 million deal with veteran guard Garrett Temple. While he is 37 years old and seldom saw huge minutes last year, Temple has some utility on this Raptors team.
On top of the fact he has proven capable of holding his own on both ends of the floor, Temple has been regarded as a solid-gold leader and clubhouse presence. On a team still populated with young players, such sage advice will be held in very high regard by the organization.
However, as with any sort of new addition, there are players who have to be absolutely fuming with the move. Those fighting for a roster spot have to be beside themselves after the Raptors made this decision, making their chances of surviving past the preseason even harder.
Jeff Dowtin may have earned a contract that guarantees him a payday if he makes the opening night roster, but the path to making that roster just got much harder following Temple’s arrival in town. After such an impressive stint last year, he has every right to be perturbed.
Jeff Dowtin is hurt by the Toronto Raptors signing Garrett Temple.
While the Raptors have enough room under the cap to cut a guaranteed contract if one of the non-guaranteed names impresses in the preseason, that will likely be seen as an aberrant event rather than something that is par for the course. Temple isn’t even a lock to get any sort of meaningful minutes.
While Dowtin didn’t put up the best per-game averages, the fact that he outperformed Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn to earn rotation time on a two-way contract was very impressive. Watching Flynn get guaranteed money while he is on the fringes has to be very disheartening.
The Raptors could trade one of their veterans, as both Thad Young and Otto Porter Jr. provided very little for Toronto last season despite their salaries. Such a move could allow them to keep Dowtin without cutting a guaranteed player, but it shouldn’t be expected.
Despite Dowtin performing well in his limited action, Masai Ujiri has seemed to be wholly uncommitted to him as a player. The Temple signing is just one more obstacle the former Rhode Island star must overcome if he wants to stick around in the NBA.