Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors decided to place a premium on shooting, long-term offensive potential, and creativity when they eschewed their need for point guard depth and used the No. 13 selection in the 2023 NBA Draft on Kansas wing Gradey Dick.
The Raptors believe that Dick has the ability to come right in and knock down open 3-pointers after Scottie Barnes or Pascal Siakam kicks it out to him. With a solid Summer League stint in the books and the wind in his proverbial sails, Dick could become a Raptors fan favorite quite soon.
The fact that Dick lasted to No. 13 overall when it seemed like he was almost a lock to go in the top 10 shows that Toronto did a tremendous job of getting great value with their draft selection. He should not have too much of an issue when it comes to proving his draft hype was not hyperbolic.
The Raptors can feel confident knowing that Dick is going to come right into the NBA and be better than this trio of players who were picked before him in the lottery. The Raptors may have stumbled upon a Top 10 talent that managed to slip through the cracks.
3 lottery picks Toronto Raptors rookie Gradey Dick will be better than.
3. Dereck Lively II, Dallas Mavericks
Lively is going to have a very long, very effective career in the NBA that will almost assuredly have one All-Defensive appearance under his belt by the time it wraps up. However, the questions about his offensive potential might not be answered due to his landing spot.
Lively is going to play with perhaps the two most ball-dominant players in the league in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, meaning that most of his offensive touches will be limited to finishing off dunks. That could help him establish a role early on, but it puts a cap on his ceiling.
Gradey Dick will be a better scorer than Dereck Lively II.
While Dick is not going to be the defender that Lively is, he will be entrusted with more offensive responsibility early in his career. Dick’s 3-point shot will be his meal ticket, but the Raptors got to see what he can do as a scorer when he was unleashed properly in Summer League play.
Dick and Lively are almost impossible to compare straight up against one another due to how different their roles and style of play will be, but the Raptors seem to be creating a runway that eventually results in Dick getting an enhanced role as a starter. Lively, meanwhile, will always be a sideshow as the Luke/Kyrie experiment churns on.