The Toronto Raptors are embarking on a new era of basketball in which Scottie Barnes and 2023 NBA Draft pick Gradey Dick are going to take center stage. Toronto was able to snatch him up at No. 13 overall after the Kansas star somehow made it out of the Top 10.
Dick was drafted with the thought that his 3-point shooting, off-ball movement on offense, and verticality when attacking the basket would help him take center stage in new head coach Darko Rajakovic’s offense, which promises to be more free-flowing and exciting than last year’s look.
Making sure that Barnes and Dick get along will be essential to ensuring that Rajakovic’s offense can take shape. The two already seem to be hitting it off, which could set the stage for a very productive start to the season that helps Dick get his feet under him in the pros.
In a behind-the-scenes clip that shows Masai Ujiri congratulating Dick for being selected and Rajakovic meeting his newest project, Barnes and Dick finally got to meet each other via FaceTime. This could be the start of a very long and beautiful friendship between the two.
Toronto Raptors star Scottie Barnes has met Gradey Dick.
Barnes could be one of the players who benefit from Dick’s addition the most. Barnes’ already impressive assist numbers will be even higher now that they have a legitimate catch-and-shoot threat on the wing. Barnes had success working with bench units last year, and Dick will only amplify that success.
While Dick will likely be able to use his jumper as a way to wiggle into the rotation early on in his career, he has the skills needed to develop into the team’s top Sixth Man very early. Adding weight will be critical for him, as it will help him avoid being a liability on the defensive end.
Given Dick’s jovial personality that has bubbled to the surface by way of his TikTok penchant and flashy red suit on Draft night, the Raptors are certainly doing everything they can to erase the vibes of yesteryear. The Rajakovic era is certainly starting off with a bang.