As the draft lottery for the NBA draws closer, we take a look at Gradey Dick, a player who is projected to go in the top ten in June. As the Mavericks will hopefully have their pick at ten, it’s worth exploring his potential fit.
Dick, listed as 6’8 and weighing 205 pounds, is a combo guard who just finished his first season with the Kansas Jayhawks. Dick finished as their second leading scorer on the season, pouring in 14.2 points per game, finishing only behind Jalen Wilson.
Dick’s shooting ability is where he projects to make his name in the NBA. He finished the season shooting 40.5 percent from three and had five games this season where he shot greater than 40 percent from behind the arc. Not only was he good on his spot up threes, but he also possesses the ability to create his own shot off the dribble. Pair this with his size at 6’8” and he’s a straight forward candidate for a early-to-mid first round selection.
There are two main weaknesses to Dick at the moment. The first of these is his weight and by proxy, his strength. Weighing just slightly over 200 pounds, he’s skinny and at his height in the NBA he will get picked on by players in the NBA who play the same position. Think about the wing-depth we’re watching in the NBA playoffs right now, he wouldn’t stand much of a chance. The team which drafts him will need to make sure he is set up in a system that has a good strength and conditioning program to help him bulk up to play the position effectively.
His second weakness is related to the strength concerns: he has some room to improve on the defensive side of the ball. When watching him play there are several times in which he’s out of position defensively or late to rotate over on a player driving to the rim. This isn’t uncommon for star offensive players but he will need to improve to contribute to his team early and consistently.
Fit with the Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks could really benefit by adding a player of this caliber, especially if the Mavericks think he has the tools to become a capable defender. He could prove to be the three-and-D guy the Mavericks have been needing for some time. A player who can defend, as well as shooting 40 percent or better from the perimeter is what Dallas needs. It’s mainly a question of whether he could play right away. Given how Jason Kidd brought along both Josh Green and Jaden Hardy, Dick would have a longer path to minutes.
The closest comparison in the NBA to Dick in terms of how he plays would be Klay Thompson. Yes, you’re rolling your eyes, that’s a college player getting compared to one of the greatest players of all time. But they each have the ability to shoot well and can create their own shot when called on. Really, try to think about how Klay is used versus the end result. This is a best-case scenario for someone like Dick, though. He could also play a similar role to someone like Grayson Allen from the Milwaukee Bucks, defending, soaking up minutes, hitting open shots. Early in his career that’s a reasonable expectation, but it may not move Mavericks fans as we hope Dallas improves the team.
Overall, Dick has potential to be a very nice addition to any team that has the ping pong balls bounce their way in the NBA Draft Lottery. He may not move the needle immediately but if Dallas is interested, he could be a good piece to add to their rotation moving forward.