“Situational Analysis” is a series of articles that seeks to examine the circumstances that most often influence an NBA prospect’s success. Each player will be scored on a scale from 1-10 in four different categories: NBA-specific skill(s), flaw(s), collegiate/overseas/pre-NBA environment, and ideal NBA ecosystem.

Gradey Dick is a 19-year-old wing from Wichita, Kansas, who averaged 14.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game for the Kansas Jayhawks. He is expected to be selected in the bottom half of the lottery in this year’s draft. NBADraft.net currently has him projected at No. 9.

NBA-Specific Skills

Gradey Dick could be the best shooter in this year’s draft.

At 6-8 with a high release point and flawless fundamentals, Dick can get his shot off against virtually any defender. He needs only a sliver of daylight before he sets and fires.

Dick is a solid shooter off the dribble, but he is lethal off the catch. He can curl around flare screens or rise and fire off dribble handoffs against snoozing defenders.

Dick canned 40.3% of his 3-point attempts for the Jayhawks on nearly six attempts a game. Even when most defenses schemed to slow down Dick’s shooting ability, he found a variety of ways to get it done.

Dick is also an excellent foul shooter (85%) and there is little concern that his jump shot will translate to NBA 3-point range.

He isn’t just a one-dimensional shooting threat, either. Dick can handle the ball and attack aggressive closeouts. He is also an adept playmaker with a high IQ and low turnover rate. He likely won’t be asked to be a team’s primary offensive option, but his shooting gravity and court savvy should allow him to carve out a decade-long niche as a solid NBA starter.

He is a better rebounder than you’d expect, and his active hands (1.5 steals per game) help hide some of his defensive limitations.

On a scale from 1-10, Dick’s shooting ability at his height rates at a 9.


Opponents will go out of their way to hunt him on defense.

Dick is a good-not-great athlete without a lot of length/quickness to make up for it. He will struggle to stay in front of the NBA’s apex-predator wings. If he can’t develop into a passable wing defender, Dick’s future might be as an offensive specialist who can’t see the floor in high-leverage playoff situations.

He likely isn’t going to be asked to create his own shot, as he doesn’t have the slippery herky-jerky ball-handling moves that elevate a prospect from “great spot-up shooter” to “elite offensive option.” Dick’s dribbling ability can get him beyond an over-aggressive closeout, but he will need to develop a floater, as we likely won’t see Gradey Dick finishing over/through elite NBA shotblockers.

On a scale from 1 (not a concern) to 10 (serious hindrance), Dick’s lack of explosiveness and possible defensive shortcomings rate at an 8.5.

Pre-NBA Setting

The legend of Gradey Dick began in Wichita, where his stellar play earned him spots on the McDonald’s All-America Team and the Nike Hoop Summit, but those were just appetizers ahead of the main course – the 2022 Gatorade Player of the Year award.

He was one of the most sought-after high school recruits, but it seemed inevitable that he would stay close to home and play for Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks. Dick teamed up with Jalen Wilson to form one of the most formidable wing combinations in college basketball.

Dick earned a spot on the Big 12’s All-Freshman Team and helped Kansas toward another No. 1 seed, but the Jayhawks were upset by a hard-nosed Arkansas squad in the second round, where Dick was limited to only 7 points on 3-9 shooting.

He is young for his class (doesn’t turn 20 until Nov. 20), so he has plenty of time to fill out physically.

On a scale of 1-10, Dick’s pre-NBA career rates at a 9. It would have been higher had Kansas advanced farther in the NCAA Tournament, but it’s hard to top Gatorade Player of the Year honors.

Ideal NBA Ecosystem

The Pacers at No. 7 is likely his highest possible draft spot. Dick would fill a hole on the wing and team up with Buddy Hield to give the Pacers’ brain trust of Rick Carlisle and Tyrese Haliburton the opportunity to create a high-scoring, floor-spacing machine.

Dick likeliest landing spot, however, is in Utah, where the surprising Jazz squad could add Dick to their already-sterling perimeter attack. Will Hardy is a perfect coach for him, and the fans in Utah would obviously fall in love with him. Imagine the look on a Salt Lake City teacher’s face when a half-dozen students walk into school wearing a Dick jersey.

It’s also exceedingly possible the Dallas Mavericks select him at No. 10. Luka Doncic needs help, and Dick provides a tremendous spot-up shooting option to help that offense breathe a little bit.

On a scale from 1-10, Dick’s situational dependence rates at a 9. Dick’s ideal landing spot would combine a creative coach who can devise clever ways to run him off screens, while scheming around his defensive limitations.


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