Shooting has always been a high-value commodity. For a team like the OKC Thunder — a crew that has shot 35.6 percent from the three-point line in the past season — adding more marksmanship to a relatively decent shooting team should raise their ceiling further. Gradey Dick could be the best sharpshooter in the class.
Gradey Dick equips that for the Thunder – and possibly more. Dick is quite likely the best shooter of this year’s draft class. He is an absolute outside weapon, a lights-out shooter that can nail it from any movement, and spots on the court with textbook mechanics and flawless release.
2023 NBA Draft Profile: Gradey Dick.
Dick averaged 14 points per game on 44 percent from the field and a little over 40 percent from the three-point line on nearly six attempts per contest. He posted a true shooting rate of 58 percent and a 55 percent effective field goal rate while knocking down an astonishing 85.4 percent of his free throws — a great indicator of shooting for prospects.
He has proved he is capable of drilling any shot from any looks. Dick is a 6-foot-8 Deadshot specialist who provides high value in this facet, possibly for the rest of his career.
Gradey Dick moves and relocates effectively, turning himself into a threat even in off-ball instances. His off-ball motion — which may not be on the Godly levels of Stephen Curry — closely resembles the likes of Bogdan Bogdanovic, JJ Redick, and Duncan Robinson, demanding constant defensive attention from opposing teams.
This is extremely valuable for a team like the Thunder, who have already built a formidable offensive crew in All-NBA player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and Jalen Williams, whose driving games require a capable shooter to keep help defenses busy, or have a shooting valve to rely on. .
More than just his stroke, Gradey Dick is also pretty hard to defend as he has a high release point, with little to no dip, while flaunting superb balance that most players should take note of, making his rhythm low maintenance and less bothered by defenses in in-game situations. Plus, his wingspan of nearly seven-feet allows him to shoot over defenders too.
Gradey Dick shot nearly 57 percent (25/44) on transition threes, 7-of-11 on off-the-dribble looks, and about 55 percent (18/33) on catch-and-shoot treys in his lone season with the Kansas Jayhawks. Those percentages are above solid for a prospect, and should convert significantly in the NBA.
Most of his looks from deep came off movement actions — ghost flares, wide pindowns, and some dribble handoffs — making Dick a valuable asset for sets, especially for a Thunder squad that saw success in playing guard-to-guard screening actions, which utilized the driving threat of its core guys, and the shooting gravity of the likes of Isaiah Joe — the team’s lone known marksman.
Gradey Dick has also shown a good feel on offense, especially on cuts, and when defenses overplay him. His timing on these opportunities could become crucial in his fit with the Thunder’s offense. That skill plus his already established outside touch would be fairly easy to weaponize with the personnel around him, if he was to be drafted by the Thunder.
Additionally, he is far from one-dimensional as Dick’s penetrations and attack game were capable of punishing closeouts, which could be valuable when defenders chase him off the line. Mainly using his left on drives, Dick shot 60 percent at the rim on about three possessions per game.
Another layer of his versatility is his playmaking. It is easy to be optimistic about Dick’s upside at being a playmaker as he displayed great poise on the college level, using his shooting and scoring gravity to lure defenders before connecting a pass that was often more precise than not. Dick has also shown solid passing velocity, proficient to thread mid-air passes, and cross-court ones.
Gradey Dick’s rebounding and hustle should also fit perfectly to the Thunder’s identity. With his aforementioned timing and sheer will, he gobbles rebounds on a regular basis, norming about 1.1 offensive boards a game on top of his five-rebound average. Dick’s proclivity on crashing towards another possession makes his ethos more attractive for OKC or any team in that matter.
What Dick could offer is a prized skill that would complement the type of offensive brand we saw from OKC this past season. Dick’s addition would boost the Thunder paint touches, and off ball looks, while adding a solid playmaker in a lineup coaxing amongst each other. Needless to say, that offensive skill set is valued highly in OKC.
However, what holds him down as an offensive initiator is his shallow repertoire against aggressive defenses. His first step and overall pace downhill are still things to be desired, while his handle remains a big room for improvement. Be that as it may, these are only his concerns on the offensive, which could be masked up when a team places him in the right places and magnifies everything he does well.
On the defensive end, Dick is a much better defender than most perceive. Sometimes being locked in at containing one’s defensive assignment is enough and Dick has certainly proved that he is sufficient in that department.
Gradey Dick is a competitor on defense. What he lacked on foot speed, he made it up with solid anticipation and impressive positional defense. He tallied a 2.5 steal percentage on 1.4 steals per game, attesting his defensive activity and feel in that end.
But, that foot speed is a massive question as this could turn him into a target by much shiftier, fast-footed guards in the NBA. Due to this, Dick is a defensive liability at this point of his career. Without a solid frame and build, Dick could turn into “unplayable” level when he enters the league. Making right progress on space navigation and physical development should, hopefully, offset this hole on defense.
For a team still in the looks for a floor spacer, Gradey Dick to OKC is a wise partnership. Dick would add a solid rotational wing with good gravity offensively but without the defensive chops one would hope for a three-and-D player.
Gradey Dick could be a piece the Thunder could hope to end up with in finishing their championship puzzle. It’s easy to be lured out of his game by what he does on defense, but the promise of what he could do on the other end is intriguing.
Gradey Dick, despite the concerns, should be a fascinating pick if the OKC Thunder opt for him in the first round.