Point guard Jeff Dowtin, who is on a two-way contract with the Raptors, has seen regular playing time as Fred VanVleet‘s backup in the team’s last three games, logging 20.4 minutes per night during that stretch. Dowtin’s numbers (4.7 PPG, 3.0 APG, .417/.400/.667 shooting) are relatively modest, but Toronto has played better this season when he sees at least 10 minutes of action, notes Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca.
“I think he’s played for us well just about every time he’s gone out there,” head coach Nick Nurse said. “We’re always talking about solid play, which is guarding your position as well as you can and executing at both ends of the floor. He’s got us running stuff and is capable of scoring a little bit as well on his own but doesn’t overdo it. He just fits in nicely there on both ends.”
Unfortunately for Toronto, Dowtin only has three games of eligibility left on his two-way deal. If the Raptors want to make him eligible to play in the rest of their regular season games and potential play-in and playoff contests, they’ll have to promote him to their 15-man roster by converting him to a standard contract.
The team doesn’t currently have an open spot on its 15-man squad, but Grange believes that Joe Wieskamp and Thaddeus Young are candidates to be cut in the event of a Dowtin promotion. Toronto is very close to the luxury tax line, but should be able to stay out of tax territory even after converting Dowtin’s contract, since a prorated minimum-salary cap hit this late in the season is minuscule.
Here’s more on the Raptors:
- With several key players headed for free agency this summer, Eric Koreen of The Athletic observes that the Raptors could use some low-cost contributors off the bench and suggests that Dowtin may be a fit on the roster beyond this season.
- In a separate article for The Athletic, Koreen says that the ongoing development of Scottie Barnes needs to remain a top priority for the Raptors, since Barnes’ ceiling may go a long way to determining the club’s ceiling in the next few years.
- Raptors wing Gary Trent Jr. has missed the last four games due to what the team is referring to as right elbow stiffness. Nurse said on Tuesday that Trent, who was originally listed as doubtful for yesterday’s game vs. Miami, is “getting closer,” according to Grange (Twitter link).
- Another wing, Will Barton, also missed Tuesday’s game due to a sprained left ankle, but Nurse doesn’t believe that injury is serious or will keep him out long, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca.