Gradey Dick is the latest Kansas Jayhawks standout to be taken in the first round of the NBA draft, with the Toronto Raptors selecting the Wichita native with the 13th overall pick on Thursday night.
This is the second year in a row a KU player has been taken during the lottery portion of the first round and the third first rounder overall in the last two years. Ochai Agbaji was picked 14th last year while Christian Braun went with the 21st-overall pick.
In his lone season at Kansas, Dick was named second-team All-Big 12 and was named to the conference’s all-newcomer team. He averaged 14.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 40.3% from three-point range. That shooting ability was his biggest draw as a prospect.
In a write-up about Dick for The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor wrote: “He can hit any type of shot, whether it’s transition sprints that require him to stop dead in his tracks or handoffs in which he must turn and balance himself in midair. He’s in constant motion off the ball, making him the type of player who requires constant defensive attention.”
Gradey Dick is KU’s 18th first rounder in Self era
Kansas coach Bill Self, who was in attendance at the draft, said earlier this offseason that Dick knew a long time ago that he was planning to be a one-and-done player, and earlier this week expressed high hopes for how draft night would unfold for the former five-star recruit.
“The feedback has been very positive,” Self said. “I’m not going to make any bold predictions, but it’s been very positive that people like Gradey a lot. They like him all throughout the lottery, not just at the end.”
Dick made headlines before the draft even started Thursday night due to his outfit, which he said was inspired by a fellow Kansan, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.
Dick is the first of two Jayhawks who expect to be drafted this year. Big 12 Player of the Year Jalen Wilson is widely expected to be a second-round pick.