The Toronto Raptors' decision to trade Dennis Schroder and Thad Young to the Brooklyn Nets for Spencer Dinwiddie looked like an opportunity to swap coats of paint on the backup point guard role. Instead, Toronto used the move as a salary dump, all while promising Bruce Brown elevated responsibility.
The Raptors decided to waive Dinwiddie before he ever played a game with them, apparently valuing the financial flexibility they have in the offseason and the potential to add a backup point guard in the NBA Draft over whatever Toronto can do with him in the remainder of the 2024 season.
Raptors fans were hit with a three-punch combo of zaniness in the waning hours of the trade deadline. Not only did they trade Schroder and waive Dinwiddie, but they chose not to trade away Brown after weeks of constant rumors. With Dinwiddie out of the picture, Brown might go back to his old-school guard roots.
While Toronto has played guard primarily on the wing and in the frontcourt, the former point guard could return to that role now that the spot is vacant. While not a natural point, it looks like Masai Ujiri will give Brown a chance to prove his worth in the backcourt.
Raptors waiving Spencer Dinwiddie could make Bruce Brown backup point guard
Brown has averaged 9.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game on 47/35/100 splits since joining Toronto. While he has played every position except center on a semi-regular basis in the last few years, he cut his teeth in the NBA as a more traditional guard in Detroit and Brooklyn.
The only other ball-handling guard options on the roster behind Brown and starter Immanuel Quickley are two-way players. Javon Freeman-Liberty is not a natural point guard at this time, and 5-7 Markquis Nowell must overcome both his physical and injury limitations to become a role player.
Assuming the current starting lineup remains set in stone, Toronto will likely roll out a five-man bench unit that features Brown alongside rookie Gradey Dick and the two other trade deadline moves in Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji. If Darko Rajakovic wants to play 10 guys, Jordan Nwora and Chris Boucher could fight for that role.
While the Raptors didn't get a pick for Brown, and they will likely pick up a $23 million team option next season, they could always move him in the offseason. For the rest of this season, Toronto will get a close look at just how well Brown fits in with the rest of the team.