Raptors expect Dowtin Jr., Porter Jr. back next season

Apr 21 2023, 7:04 pm

There are many questions about the Toronto Raptors and their future after the organization decided to part ways with head coach Nick Nurse today.

But in today’s end-of-season press conference just over an hour after Nurse’s departure became official, Toronto president Masai Ujiri offered up two particular bench players who he expects to be part of the mix next season: Jeff Dowtin Jr. and Otto Porter Jr.

Dowtin was signed last summer on a two-way, non-guaranteed contract, but was ineligible to play come play-in time due to having reached his maximum 50 games on the roster. The Raptors had the option to convert his contract to a guaranteed deal but opted to not go through with it and he was thus ineligible for this season’s play-in tournament and postseason.

“I think we played him in as many games as we can. Jeff is part of this team, is going to be part of this team in the future,” Ujiri said in response to a question asked by Daily Hive. “Maybe not handled the best way. But I think the overall view of this is Jeff as part of our future.”

A restricted free agent this summer, Dowtin would have a qualifying offer of $1,761,752, per Spotrac.

Dowtin averaged 2.4 points, 1.2 assists and 0.9 rebounds in 25 games this season after signing with the Raptors last summer.

“Jeff has been [at the Raptors practice facilities] every day [since the season ended],” Ujiri added.

Meanwhile, Porter averaged 5.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in eight games this season, but missed most of the season dealing with a dislocated toe that required surgery.

Signing a two-year contract with a player option last summer fresh off winning an NBA title with the Golden State Warriors, Porter missed the first seven games of the season, played in eight straight, and then sat out the remainder of the year with his toe injury.

“That was the beginning of another unfortunate situation. You get an experienced shooter, a big player has a great basketball, IQ and could fit in with this team, but it never worked out and he had to have surgery,” Ujiri added of Porter’s injury. “So we’ll see how his surgery heals. And he’s in that process now, but the plan is for him to heal and be part of the roster next season.”

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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