Draft day has finally come and gone, and Toronto Raptors fans have lots to be excited about. They may not have made a huge trade into the top three as rumored, but with the 13th pick, the Raptors got a much-needed talent with Gradey Dick. With this spacing wing from Kansas, Toronto had the best draft in the Atlantic division.
In his lone season as a Jayhawk, Dick was one of the best shooters in the NCAA. Shooting over five 3-pointers per game, Dick made them at an efficient 40%, placing him among the top college snipers. At 6-8, Dick could be one of the best tall shooters in the NBA if his numbers translate.
Not only does his talent garner some interest, but his fit alongside the core stands out. He can shoot well off the catch, matching with the team’s inside playmakers. He can also attack off movement and cutting, which will be complementary to the double teams that Pascal Siakam attracts. Dick is also a solid passer off the drive and can find other scorers on his way to the basket.
His skill set will need some polishing at the NBA level and may take some adjustment to get used to the league, but his potential and fit with the Raptors make his selection the top pick for the Atlantic division teams.
The Toronto Raptors had the best draft in the division.
The Philadelphia 76ers had a single pick in the upcoming draft, but as a result of a tampering investigation during the P.J. Tucker trade, the 76ers forfeited it. With a new head coach, a potential leaving star player, and a questioned new direction, the 76ers ended their Thursday night without a fresh talent.
Looking into their future, they are likely to build in free agency and trades, but their decision not to find a way into this draft leaves the Raptors one step ahead of the Sixers moving into the offseason.
The Celtics had a second-round selection, which they used on Jordan Walsh. While the former top recruit and Arkansas standout is a tremendous defender, he may not provide the offensive impact some fans were hoping to see.
After their trade for Kristaps Porzingis, they don’t have many minutes for a young inefficient forward, and Walsh will likely be left to develop for their G-League affiliate.
New York Knicks
In line with Philadelphia, the Knicks did not have a single pick to make in the 2023 draft. Their roster was already constructed of veterans and All-NBA talent, so the Knicks didn’t even move into the second round. They stood solid with their roster, believing in a big move to be made this offseason.
Their lack of adding talent helps the Raptors as they look to improve. Toronto finished just six games behind the Knicks with no spacing or depth. Adding Dick gives the Raptors a weapon they did not have last season and will only help them close the gap on New York.
The Brooklyn Nets had three selections to make in the 2023 draft. With two more picks than the Raptors, did they have the better draft?
At 21, the Nets selected Noah Clowney from Alabama. A 6′-0 big, Clowney averaged 9 points per game and shot 23% from deep on 3.3 three-point attempts. An athletic big, he is unlikely to take minutes from Nic Claxton. Brooklyn already has forward like Dorian Finney-Smith and Cameron Johnson. A pick used on a position and role they already have filled is not a great look.
At 22, the Nets drafted Dariq Whitehead, a freshman guard from Duke. Averaging 8 points per game and more turnovers than assists, the former top recruit raised some eyebrows this high in the draft. This could be an indicator of off-season movement or just bad picks.
In the second round, the Nets drafted Jalen Wilson, another forward from Kansas. The former NCAA champion averaged roughly 20 points, eight rebounds, and two assists per game. He shot well from outside, hitting 34% of his threes, but also had more turnovers than assists. A 4-year college player, the downside to Wilson is he will be more polished than other rookies but will have a lower ceiling for development.
The Nets had three picks to make. Despite being loaded with forwards who can space the floor around Mikal Bridges and Nic Claxton, they use their selections on three more forwards. Adding some depth issues to their construction, the Raptors’ addition of Dick to fit their needs gives Toronto the edge.