clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 NBA Draft Profile: What would Kansas freshman Gradey Dick bring to the Detroit Pistons?

Possibly the best shooter in the 2023 NBA Draft Class, Gradey Dick is looking to prove that he can provide the floor spacing and offensive power that any team needs to compete.

NBA: Combine
Gradey Dick speaks to media during the 2023 NBA Draft Combine
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

A knockdown shooter, no matter whether the shot comes off of a pull-up or finding open space for a catch-and-shoot opportunity—Kansas freshman Gradey Dick is one of those players.

In his one collegiate season with the Jayhawks, the 6-foot-7 wing shot 40.3 percent from 3-point range on 5.7 attempts per game, while also converting on 85.4 percent of his attempts at the free-throw line. Dick’s shooting prowess will bring floor spacing to any rotation at the next level—however, his game isn’t whittled down to only that.

Having a player who can hit shots at that good of a rate opens the door for the rest of the offense. It also allows for Dick to have the opportunity to make defenders overcommit, then leading to a ball-fake for a clean look or quick drive towards the hoop.

Currently, Dick is a top-10 prospect in the 2023 NBA Draft, mostly due to his shotmaking power. This begs the question—what is the full package that he will bring to an NBA roster?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-Howard vs Kansas
Kansas’ Gradey Dick drives to the hoop during an NCAA Tournament game against Howard.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Ability

If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that Dick can make shots at a high level. Where I’m more intrigued however, is with the elements of his game that may be overshadowed currently due to being the best 3-point shooter in this year’s draft class.

He wasn’t a primary facilitator at Kansas and won’t be expected to be in the NBA. But, he has shown a knack for keeping the ball moving to ensure the right teammate gets the best shot before a possession dwindles down. He is a great mover off-the-ball while on offense by messing with defenders to get open on the perimeter or make a quick cut to the basket. This movement will put him in position to grab some offensive rebounds or tap the ball out to a teammate to reset the offense.

At 6-foot-7, he has an athletic frame that has helped with finishing at the rim. Some added strength over the next handful of years will help translate scoring at the rim to the next level.

Now, going back to the shot. Dick’s shooting mechanics and motion looks effortless, no matter whether he is on the run or catching the ball for a quick-release attempt.

He will be 19-years-old on draft night, so there is potential that his shot could get even better over time. The more development I see with Dick on offense is as a creator, however. He knows how to move off-the-ball and get himself open. To further unlock his game, I can see on-ball creation being a focal point for growth.

Defensive Ability

The 6-foot-7 freshman has some positional versatility thanks to his size. Dick can likely guard positions two through three in the NBA, and potentially smaller four-mans if he is put in situations where he needs to guard up positionally.

There have been question marks about his on-ball defense, which are fair. This is mainly due to being beat off-the-dribble by shiftier guards while at Kansas. Dick will be put into situations in the NBA where he is forced to switch onto smaller and quicker players, and he will have to be able to stick with them to grow into a positive on-ball defender.

Off-the-ball, he’s a much better defender currently. Overall, Dick is a smart basketball player. He seems to stay engaged in off-ball scenarios and shows effort to stay with his man to prevent clean catch-and-shoot looks.

I don’t think that Dick will ever get to an All-Defensive team level in the NBA—but, I do think that with the proper development he can become a positive defender, where opposing teams do not look to exploit him as a defensive liability.

Fit with the Pistons

Dick fits in with almost any NBA roster as a strong shooter and floor spacer. The Pistons will likely continue to value bringing in strong 3-point shooters after struggling from behind the arc in recent years.

He can come in and be a solid second unit scorer as he gets used to the league, providing Detroit with a long-range spark off the bench. With the Pistons, I could see Dick as having a similar role to Bojan Bogdanovic—provide quality scoring from the wing and try to stay afloat on the defensive end. If both players find themselves in Detroit at the beginning of next season, Bogdanovic could have his own protege and successor to take under his wing prior to his time with the team coming to a close.

General Manager Troy Weaver should prioritize adding as many young prospects who can shoot and space the floor as he can. This can allow potential two-big lineups to see time on the floor by preventing a logjam on offense. Adding a player like Dick next to big men like Jalen Duren and James Wiseman will create spacing, while still seeing the benefit of having a strong frontcourt lineup defensively, an area where Dick needs to develop.

The path for Dick to hear his name called by Detroit on draft night is less clear. He is currently graded as a mid-to-late lottery pick, and currently seems a bit too rich for the Pistons to jump for with their first selection at No. 5 overall. If Weaver elects to trade back, or find a way to gain an additional lottery pick, Dick could be a primary target thanks to his shooting ability. The elite three ball could lead to being selected higher than most projections—however, I just can’t see that being as high as number five.