Former Kansas Jayhawks basketball stars Gradey Dick, Ochai Agbaji shine in Raptors win

Feb 12, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; San Antonio Spurs guard Malaki Branham (22) shoots
Feb 12, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; San Antonio Spurs guard Malaki Branham (22) shoots / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Shortly before the NBA Trade Deadline passed, Ochai Agbaji and other players were involved in a deal between the Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz. The trade sent former Kansas basketball star and 2022 champion Agbaji up north to Canada, joining one-and-done Jayhawk Gradey Dick's team.

In Toronto's second game since the All-Star break, the struggling Raptors went on the road and picked up a much-needed victory over the Atlanta Hawks. They fought off a late comeback attempt en route to a 123-121 win. Dick and Agbaji had fantastic outings off the bench.

Dick played 22 minutes and had one of his best games as a pro. He scored 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting, grabbing two rebounds and assisting one basket. However, he was not the only Midwest native to contribute to the Raptors' victory.

Agbaji needed only 17 minutes to post 14 points, shooting a near-perfect 5-for-6 from the field while connecting for 4-of-5 attempts from 3-point range. He collected four rebounds, adding one block and one steal to add to his impressive stat line.

Through 36 games in his rookie season, Dick is averaging 5.9 points and 1.7 rebounds on a 42.1/35.8/92.0 slash line. Meanwhile, Agbaji's averages are similar at 5.9 points and 2.4 rebounds across 56 appearances.

Dick and Agbaji never played together at Kansas — the latter's final season came one year before Dick's lone campaign in Lawrence — but they both were selected in the lottery of the NBA Draft. Neither player has exceeded their expectations, but they have shown flashes of their talent like they did yesterday.

It was a solid performance for both former Jayhawks, who finished third and fourth in the team's scoring department. With the Raptors out of playoff contention, head coach Darko Rajaković should keep feeding minutes to the younger guys, which should supplement the growth of players like Dick and Agbaji.