The Toronto Raptors have spent most of their Summer League schedule doing everything they can to show off why Gradey Dick is going to be an impact player early on in his career. Dick’s scoring wasn’t evident at first, but he has gradually gotten more comfortable.
While Dick has struggled from 3-point range in Summer League play, he has been showing off the creativity, scoring skill, and turnover generation on the defensive end that Toronto was seduced by in the pre-draft process. Outside of him, Markquis Nowell, and Moses Brown, things have been bleak.
Some Raptors fans may have liked the idea of drafting a point guard, but Dick’s highs in Summer League play have been impressive enough to where the Raptors should feel confident in their selection. Considering the problems associated with the NBA Draft and the randomness of the whole affair, some teams will make poor picks.
Based on how Summer League has gone for this trio of fellow first-round picks, the Raptors may end up coming out of their recent draft shenanigans smelling like a rose after having the foresight needed to select a player like Dick.
3 first-round pick Raptors’ Gradey Dick has outperformed in Summer League
3. Noah Clowney, Brooklyn Nets
With Dariq Whitehead still recovering from a myriad of injuries, Clowney has taken center stage in Brooklyn’s Summer League schedule. While he has been taking more offensive risks in order to show how his game has expanded, the results haven’t always been there.
After making 49% of his shots at the collegiate level with Alabama, Clowney has converted just 26% of his attempts in Summer League play. Clowney has attempted 16 3-pointers, but made just four of them in four games. He appears to be just as raw as many expected.
Gradey Dick has shot better than Noah Clowney.
Dick isn’t shooting the ball like he did at Kansas, but he appears to be showing off a more diverse game than Clowney. If Clowney’s game is going to be focused on being an interior presence and rebounder, he can’t be shooting like this when the games count.
Toronto and Brooklyn, as it stands right now, are likely considered to be two fairly even teams. Dick or Clowney emerging as a rotation piece could be something that helps move the needle one way or the other, and it looks like Dick has a slight edge in that race early on.