3 Storylines that will emerge over the remainder of the Toronto Raptors' season

Immanuel Quickley, Toronto Raptors
Immanuel Quickley, Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages
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Storyline No. 1: How good is Gradey Dick?

Heading into the 2024 NBA Draft, many analysts placed Kansas wing Gradey Dick in the Top 10 of their draft rankings (myself included). His combination of size and shooting made him the kind of player any team would love to have and the perfect player to add to a team trying to build an NBA offense around reluctant shooters like Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam.

Yet the excitement that was sparked by the Raptors taking Gradey Dick with the 13th pick faded as the regular season began and the 6'6" rookie struggled significantly. He wasn't hitting shots, he was regularly cooked on defense and he was inconsistently a part of the rotation.

That has turned around lately, however. In his last 14 games, Gradey Dick is averaging 11.4 points per game, doubling what he averaged to that point in the season. He is playing 22.7 minutes per game and dropping 2.4 3-pointers per game on 46.5 percent shooting from deep. He looks much more comfortable with the speed of the NBA game.

If Gradey Dick is a long-time starter as a sharpshooting wing who can hold up on defense, the Raptors nailed their draft pick. Over the next six weeks, however, he has a chance to spread his wings and show off a deeper game. Can he do any creation off the dribble? How does his rebounding improve his impact? Is there more upside than simply being the next Danny Green?

The Raptors certainly hope so, and with players injured and the stakes lowered now is the time for him to give it a try. Then he'll have an offseason to go back to work and prepare for next season. He's only a rookie, but as the Raptors continue to evaluate and add to their core, how he plays down the stretch -- how everyone does -- will be a loud voice advocating for his future.

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