The Toronto Raptors have been rolling out their Summer League squad to a chorus of boos, as they have lost both of their games in convincing fashion. The play of Gradey Dick has been up and down, but the highs have been extremely enticing.
Dick hasn’t been a lights-out shooter in Summer League play, but he’s been well above average at every level he has performed at. Dick has shown that he is working on some of his main issues, as he is a willing and able passer on top of being a turnover generator on defense.
Many of Dick’s former coaches have tapped him for stardom. L.J. Goolsby, Dick’s AAU coach, said that he is more than just a great shooter, while Kansas coach Bill Self called the Raptors a “great fit” for Dick. His former youth coach, Allen Skeens, believes that Dick is right on par with an NBA champion in terms of talent.
Skeens, per Aaron Rose of Sports Illustrated, said that the only player he coached with a better shot than Dick “just won an NBA championship a couple of weeks ago.” Skeens was referring to Michael Porter Jr, who has shot just under 42% from 3-point range and has earned a contract worth more than $200 million. If Dick is that good, No. 13 would be a massive steal.
Toronto Raptors’ Gradey Dick gets a Michael Porter Jr. comparison.
Dick and Nets pick Jalen Wilson served as the main catalysts for a Jayhawks team that made some noise last season, and their success would have been impossible without his shooting, bounce when attacking the rim and feel for the game.
One thing that Dick and Porter have in common besides shooting is the fact they are both tremendous movers without the ball. While that is not a very sexy trait, coaches will take advantage of that when the rubber hits the road and games start counting in the regular season.
To become as good as Porter, two significant flaws have to be fixed. Dick’s lack of functional strength could limit him as a defender and finisher, so adding a few pounds could help him. While Porter doesn’t have a fantastic handle, he has a functional one for his size, and Dick could stand to improve there.
Dick may not hit his ceiling immediately, but he has been a producer at every single level prior to the pros. If he is being compared to someone like Porter as a shooter, that should give the Raptors confidence that he will eventually break out.