Raptors draft: Freshman Gradey Dick looking like ideal Toronto guard

LAWRENCE, KANSAS - DECEMBER 01: Gradey Dick #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
LAWRENCE, KANSAS - DECEMBER 01: Gradey Dick #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors may have added a second-rounder with first-round physical tools in Christian Koloko with their lone 2022 NBA Draft selection, but more supplemental scoring talent is needed. While there are many talented freshmen that the Raptors should look out for, Kansas guard Gradey Dick may be the best out of them all.

For the second season in a row, the Raptors’ biggest issue is the fact that they are simply incapable of matching up with other elite offensive teams in the league. The poor 3-point shooting, augmented by Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet struggling from deep, has created a hole that the standout recruit can fill.

Dick has averaged 14.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for the Jayhawks, operating mostly as a traditional small forward who sets up in the corner or a bigger shooting guard that leads the offense. He’s set himself up to be a no-doubt first-round pick if he keeps those numbers up.

The Raptors will either be in the lottery or on the very fringes of it this season, meaning they are in the perfect range to select Dick. Doing so would give the Raptors another terrific young player they can build around while taking care of an issue Masai Ujiri neglected to earnestly solve in the offseason.

Will the Toronto Raptors draft Gradey Dick?

Dick is making 47% of his shots from the floor, but he’s also averaging an incredible 48% from 3-point range on just under six attempts per game. That shooting is going to translate to the NBA, and this level of quality is also coming in a Raptors-friendly 6-8 package.

Dick may not be a tremendous shot-creator, but there’s plenty of bounce and athleticism to work with. Considering how Nick Nurse has been a fan of throwing his rookies out on the floor regularly, Dick may end up getting a healthy diet of rookie minutes.

While Dick is never going to be the best on-ball defender, he can rotate well and be a very effective off-ball nuisance. That switchability is important for the Raptors, as they could turn him into a deflection machine in the same way they reinvented Gary Trent Jr. over the last two years.

Dick is likely going to be picked on the fringes of the lottery, as there is still much debate over how good he will be at creating his own shot. Despite that ever, Toronto’s need for 3-point shooting is so dire that they might take the best shooter available. Dick may be the best pure 3-point sniper in this entire class.

Next. 5 teams who could trade for Gary Trent Jr. dark