With the Thunder's promising 2022-2023 season officially over, it is time to get into offseason mode. OKC has a multitude of ways to get better in the coming months whether through free agency, trades, or their own lottery pick. This very well could be the final lottery pick OKC has of their own for many years to come, making it crucial they select a quality player at whatever spot they end up.
This offseason could be a key turning point for the future of the Thunder, and the hope is they will be able to fill in these ancillary pieces on the roster to make another leap in 2023-2024. This will be the first draft coverage released by me this year, with hopefully more on the horizon. First up this year, is Gradey Dick, the 6'8 wing out of Kansas.
- Born: November 20th, 2003
- Draft Age: 19.6
- High School: Sunrise Christian Academy
- RSCI: 16
- College: Kansas
- Measurements (Projected): 6’7.5, 205 pounds, TBD wingspan
- Consensus Ranking: 11th
Gradey Dick, the sharpshooting wing from Kansas, has been mocked to the Thunder frequently throughout the season. He is currently ranked 10th on the consensus board and projects to land somewhere in the vicinity of where Oklahoma City will pick, making him a realistic option for the team if they stand pat or decide to trade up a few spots. If you've heard casual draft analysis labeling Dick as just a shooter, allow me to strongly disagree with that assessment. He has more elements to his game than the "pure shooter" label which could get thrown on him, making him potentially a very impactful player in the NBA.
The draft isn't for a couple more months, but we're going to dive into Gradey Dick's game today and see how he could fit in this current OKC core.
The obvious NBA skill that jumps off the page from Gradey is his perimeter shooting. He was one of the best shooters in high school basketball for the last couple of years at Sunrise Christian and his success continued at Kansas in his lone season there. As a freshman for the Jayhawks, he averaged 14.1 points per game on 58% TS and 40% from three on 5.7 attempts per game. He also shot 85% from the free throw line, showing tremendous natural touch and hand-eye coordination.
Per Bart Torvik, the only one-and-done NCAA freshmen listed 6'8 or taller since 2013 that shot 40+ percent from three and 75+ percent from the line who were drafted in the first round so far are:
- Lauri Markkanen
- Jabari Smith, Jr.
- Cade Cunningham
This exclusive list consists of three top-10 selections, one who has blossomed into an All-NBA caliber player and two who for whom the jury is still out on. The point here is that players as young and as big as Gradey Dick--who can shoot--are not as common as you'd think. The added height on these three-point shooters is such a bonus, allowing them to attack mismatches and shoot over the top of lengthier defenders.