The Toronto Raptors got a boost from the most unlikely of sources last season, when Jeff Dowtin went from a Summer League star and two-way point guard to a semi-regular rotation presence who outperformed two Raptors draft picks. in Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn.
Dowtin is not a great offensive player at the moment, but he showed tremendous speed with the ball in his hands and defensive effort. The Raptors brought him back, but his contract is not guaranteed. He would need to beat out one of the team’s most established players to earn a roster spot.
Dowtin has competition this season, as Flynn is still around and Markquis Nowell is in town thanks to his two-way contract. Masai Ujiri may not have been very sincere when he pointed to Dowtin as a big part of the team’s future in a postseason news conference.
No matter how difficult the situation may seem for Dowtin, his ability to consistently overcome skeptics and become the best version of who he can be bodes well for his chances of impressing this new coaching staff.
Toronto Raptors 21 in 21: young defenseman Jeff Dowtin
Statistics: 2.4 points per game, 0.9 RPG, 1.2 points per game, 44% field goals, 31% three-pointers
Dowtin’s per-game numbers belie the impact he had in his time with the Raptors, as he was a pesky defender who could get to the basket on offense to become somewhat effective on that end. After jumping in as a G League and COVID replacement, Dowtin seemed to find a home.
Best case scenario for Jeff Dowtin in 2023
Dowtin ends up running out of town a guaranteed player like Flynn or Otto Porter Jr. Dowtin has already proven himself to be a competent defender and could continue down that path this season. On offense, Dowtin should continue to prove that he is a much better passer than the numbers indicate.
Dowtin’s three-point shooting is the key to him becoming a solid player who doesn’t bounce from team to team. Between an unwillingness to shoot and poor percentages from deep throughout his basketball career, he has a critical weakness that needs improvement.
The worst case scenario for Jeff Dowtin in 2023
Not only would the Raptors get rid of Dowtin, who might struggle to take the necessary steps forward as a shooter and rebounder, but they would lose him to the Philadelphia 76ers, who acquired Dowtin’s G League rights. Having a division rival acquire him would not be optimal.
Dowtin has already proven to the rest of the NBA that his defensive skills and energy are good enough to make an impact at the professional level, but it’s up to him to continue smoothing out the rough edges of his game. Without it, he might need to find a new home in the NBA.
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