At the start of the draft, Gradey Dick was covered in sequin, dazzling in bright red, and unbeknownst to he and the Raptors - headed to Toronto. One of the prospects that the Raptors really liked -- and one of the few who garnered a second workout, and more face time with the team -- had slipped, just a little bit, and it led to conceptual symmetry between his outfit and his new team, a much-coveted follow from Drake, and maybe most importantly: one of the worst shooting teams in the league selecting someone who is considered by many as the best shooter in his draft.
"I think we had Gradey, in kind of his own group." said Bobby Webster after the Raptors drafted Gradey Dick 13th overall. "I'm sure we'll see how it all plays out over the next couple years. I think the size, shooting, the I.Q. probably stood out quite a bit. He's not just a shooter, he knows how to play off the ball. He knows how to make backdoor cuts. He can pass well. He rebounds well. I think he's more of a well-rounded player even though he's probably gonna get pegged early as just a shooter."
As Bobby Webster laid out, albeit in a short, press conference-y manner: Gradey isn't just a shooter. He is, of course, an elite shooter. One of the best to come out of the college game in the past 5 years. But, he's an ever-impressive connective playmaker, which is something that the Raptors, and other teams that Gradey worked out with, got to experience first hand while working him through all the drills that test the limits of a players ability to make progressive reads. Attack the top-foot, find the lane, read the help, make the play - he passed with flying colors.
Webster mentioned that workouts shouldn't be too revealing. That you'd rather see this stuff live in games, and the good news for Gradey and the Raptors? It's written all over his Kansas tape.
As a shooter that can handle the ball, play defense, that can rebound, that was more of the appeal: that he can do all of the other things too.
Bobby Webster on Gradey Dick
Empty-side pick n' rolls where his height and shooting gravity can create easy passing lanes to rollers. The baseline drives after back-cutting his man who was cheating into a DHO and the correct reads to the corner, above-the-break, or his teammate crashing into the lane. Skip passes are always easier for taller players with vision. Not a lot of these come as the result of primary initiation, but Gradey & the Raptors have modest expectations for his first bit of time in the league, and that's for him to succeed as a tertiary player. He has the skillset for it.
It is important to remember though, that Gradey's secondary skills shine a little bit brighter because of the immense pressure his shooting applies to defenses. In the graphic above you can see elite shot-making from two levels of the court: the mid-range, and 3-point land. One of the concerns about transitioning from college to the NBA, is the length of 3-pointers changing. All shooters have to adjust to this, but it's nice to know that Gradey hit 36.5% on his NBA distance threes at Kansas across 107 attempts.