Former Kansas basketball star Gradey Dick is having a tough time adjusting to the NBA.
Despite being a lottery selection in this year’s NBA Draft, Gradey Dick has not lived up to expectations with the Toronto Raptors thus far. The 6-foot-6 sharpshooter appeared in 15 contests before being sent to Toronto’s G League affiliate, the Raptors 905.
Dick averaged 3.9 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assist across 14.7 minutes in his games at the NBA level. Those stats aren’t inherently bad, but the most concerning aspect of his line is his inefficiency. His shooting percentage is 27.0%, while it is an even lower 24.4% from 3-point range — a massive step in the wrong direction compared to his 40.3% clip beyond the arc with Kansas basketball.
After scoring just two points in his G League debut, he followed that performance up with a 22-point outing in last night’s loss. There is no timeline for when he is expected to be called up, but he has been ruled out for tonight’s NBA contest against the Nets.
Even though he isn’t contributing much right now, Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic believes in Gradey. He said this to the media after Dick was sent down:
"“He is learning every single day. He is doing a good job on the court. In video sessions, he is always asking questions. He is very proactive. For a young player at 19 years old to get on the court and play in the NBA, every game and every minute is a win for him. It is an opportunity to learn and get better.He has great support from his teammates, so he is really in a good situation here. I believe that with each game, he is going to continue to develop and improve. Once the game slows down a little bit for him, I think he is going to be able to really help us.”"
Seeing words like that from your coach has to be encouraging. Dick still has plenty of time to carve out a respectable NBA career. But as a raw 20-year-old playing behind veteran guards like Gary Trent Jr., it could take some time before Dick buds into the player Toronto expected when they drafted him.