The Toronto Raptors would have loved it if top pick Gradey Dick was able to slide right into the team's rotation, but it seems increasingly unlikely the former Kansas star is going to play any sort of role on the 2023 club. Dick was supposed to be a shooter, and he hasn't even done that.
Dick was demoted to Raptors 905 after making just 24% of his 3-pointers. After struggling mightily in two of his three of his G League games to this point, many fans are worried about the team's decision to use a top pick on a player like Dick instead of someone who could contribute more this season.
While the Dick selection was generally approved by most of this fanbase and the draft community as a whole, certain segments of the fanbase were clamoring for a ball-handling point guard like Baylor's Keyonte George. After being picked 16th by the Utah Jazz, George has averaged 10.5 points and 5.0 assists per game.
Hindsight is always 20-20, which has some fans ripping the front office for taking Dick over George. The pick looks bad now, but is it fair to declare the race over after just a handful of games when both players are a couple of years removed from worrying about history class and senior prom?
Toronto Raptors fans shouldn't ask for Keyonte George over Gradey Dick.
George has been given more opportunities, and he's certainly been much better, but one can't ignore all the context. George has made just 35% of his shots this season while turning the ball over twice per game on a Jazz team that may end up with a worse record than Toronto.
If you want to question the idea of getting a wing like Dick instead of a more pure point guard like George, that's fair. However, the blind faith in someone who has made 39% of his shots inside the arc and came out of Baylor with efficiency concerns is a bit unusual.
Dick was regarded as a high-end shooter in high school and college, which should make fans a bit less uneasy about his slump. We've seen him be elite in this area before, and it's only a matter of time before he gets hot from deep and can rejoin the Raptors rotation.
Just a few years ago, Dick needed to make sure his mom was able to pick him up from basketball practice. Going from that to a role player on an NBA team eyeing the playoffs requires so much growth technically and physically. Dick will likely get there (if you believe the coaches), even if others are marginally more advanced right now.