Raptors rookie Gradey Dick opens up about adjusting to NBA: 'It's been a whirlwind'

Gradey Dick's rookie year hasn't gone according to plan and he's leaning on his family to help him stay grounded through the struggles.

Gradey Dick's NBA career has gotten off to a rocky start after the Toronto Raptors selected him with the 13th pick in the 2023 draft.

Dick is averaging 3.9 points per game on 27% shooting (24.4% from 3-point range) at the NBA level, which prompted a demotion to the Raptors 905 over the weekend.

His G League debut was one to forget, as he finished with two points, two rebounds and one assist with three turnovers on 1-of-12 shooting (0-of-6 from 3-point range). Dick scored 22 points in his second game with the club on Monday but remained inefficient with his shot, going 5-of-21 from the field and 3-of-12 from beyond the arc. On a positive note, he did make all seven of his free-throw attempts.

Gradey Dick is currently on assignment with Raptors 905. Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports)
Gradey Dick is currently on assignment with Raptors 905. Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports) (USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con)

After Monday's game, Dick opened up about adjusting to the pro game and how he's leaning on his family's guidance on and off the court to keep him grounded through the struggles.

"It's been a whirlwind. There's a lot going on," Dick said. "But at the same time I go back to taking advice from my family and the people in my corner of just keeping my head down, my head on my shoulders and not letting the business get to me...

"You get stuck on [social media] and that's probably the worst thing you can do. You've got to stay with your team, your coaches, fan base, and your family because at the end of the day that's all that matters."

Dick shot down speculation that the Raptors have been tinkering with his shot, saying his stroke has been the same since "before middle school" when he and his mother developed his shooting mechanics. He pointed to the deeper 3-point line at the NBA and G League level compared to the NCAA as the primary reason for his struggles from long range. Dick converted on 40% of his 3-point attempts in his lone season at Kansas compared to just 24% in his brief NBA career.

Off the court, Dick feels the biggest challenge has been adjusting to the rigorous schedule, though he says not having homework has been a perk.

"It's just the constant travel," Dick said. "With the Raptors it feels like every other day you're in a different city, so it's just learning how to go through that but also take care of your body through that."

Even though Dick's freshman campaign has not gone according to plan, he's still bringing the same energy that made him an internet sensation on draft night and throughout the offseason.

"He's a funny guy. He's definitely still a kid," Raptors 905 teammate Javon Freeman-Liberty said. "He's kind of goofy but he's a cool guy and fun to be around. Cool person and even better basketball player."