The Toronto Raptors got Summer League off to a flying start, as they dominated the Philadelphia 76ers on the back of a fourth-quarter in which Philly managed just seven points. Even without a first-round pick, Toronto announced that they are without question must-see Summer League TV.
The Raptors have most of their rotation (if not all it) firmly set in stone. These Vegas exhibitions aim to find out which non-guaranteed deals will populate the back end of the roster and which young prospects are worth stashing on Raptors 905 to start the season.
While they likely won’t win by 20 points every game, Toronto should be thrilled that some of their more contested battles for playing time have gotten off to such a rigorous start. The game results are almost immaterial, as most of the substance from this tournament comes in how these players look in the film room.
The Raptors’ coaching staff will likely pit these three collections of players against one another in Summer League play. The winners of these battles will probably have an advantage when it comes time to trim the roster down to 15 players and two two-way deals.
3 Toronto Raptors Summer League battles to watch
3. David Johnson vs. Jeff Dowtin
Dowtin may seem like a random G League player thrown into the roster for the sake of completion. Still, his 13-point, nine assist showing actually helped him exceed what former second-round pick Johnson was able to amass. Those two are guaranteed very little in the battle for a roster spot.
With Justin Champagnie likely getting some NBA contract during the offseason and one of the two usable two-way contract slots already used up on Ron Harper Jr. after the draft ended, both of these players could theoretically compete for that last two-way spot on the roster.
The Toronto Raptors will keep an eye on Jeff Dowtin, David Johnson.
Nick Nurse has already said that he is keeping an eye on Dowtin, who had some impressive moments during his brief tenure with the Warriors and Magic last year. After barely getting on the floor in the NBA last year, Johnson is on his last legs following a so-so G League season.
The best way for one of these players to win out is to show either improved efficiency or some undeniable defensive talent. Nurse needs to experiment with both of them, as picking the right two-way player might be pivotal for fully fleshing out the 905 roster.