Fan Duel Toronto Raptors

When a lottery pick goes against #15

Kobe Bufkin proves he's much better than a lottery pick in his draft class. How will Dick answer in the second of a back-to-back?

Writing a recap without being able to access the stream seems sacrilegious.

To summarize the box score, the 905 got off to a poor first half on Thursday night against the College Park Skyhawks. The 905 were down 24 points at halftime – but won the third quarter by 10 points. As has been the case so many times, they couldn’t do enough later in the game to compensate for an earlier deficit, and were still down 14 points going into the final frame. College Park won the game by 20 points, 109-89.

The biggest story of this game was seeing how #13 would compare to #15 – how Dick compared to 15th overall pick Kobe Bufkin.

The latter was one pick shy from being a lottery pick. He recently recovered from a left thumb injury, and has wasted no time proving himself. His G League stats through four regular season games scream, “I don’t belong here!” – he’s averaging 31 PPG.

On the other hand, Dick, who was recently assigned to the 905 as Toronto hit the road, is doing well enough in the G League. Dick had 16 points (50% FG, 1-for-7 3FG) and seven rebounds on Thursday night. 

The knee-jerk reaction is to think Toronto made a mistake in picking Dick over Bufkin. But from a developmental standpoint, Dick needs games like these to prove his worth – to prove Toronto is making the right choice in investing in him. College Park walked away with a convincing win, and how Dick claps back tonight will be another data point to show what he’s made of (or not made of).  

As Blake Murphy has reported previously, there was near consensus in his jump shot coming out of Kansas. And consensus opinion matters even if there are cases when it’s proven wrong.

“The Raptors — and just about everyone in the college and pro scouting world — believed in his jump-shot coming out of Kansas. Outside of the top-four picks in the 2023 draft, Dick was the closest thing to a consensus top-20 prospect across primary draft rankings. It’s still too early to doubt the larger scouting sample, even if his two-game start with the 905 is the worst we’ve seen from an assignment player since the early Bruno Caboclo days.”

Dick’s pathway to development is to go through the struggle and see how he reacts – even if it means someone in your draft class proves he’s much better than you at this point. Dick will need to continue making plays like these.  

Similarly, head coach Eric Khoury will have extra motivation to not let his old colleague and close friend walk away with two wins. The 905 are now 1-3, and lost convincingly to a College Park squad that went eight-deep with only one Atlanta Hawks player, while the 905 had one assignee and two two-way players in JFL and Markquis Nowell.

Lastly, honourable mention for Nowell who continues to show his height shouldn’t matter at the next level as he put on a teardrop clinic.

The 905 play the College Park Skyhawks again at 6:30 pm EST tonight. The stream will be available to Canadians here.