Jerami Grant has dropped hard in Chad Ford’s mock drafts on ESPN.com. He started at 18 in Ford’s initial mock draft but has fallen to 25 in the most recent version. Grant is a tremendous athlete, but there is little else appealing about his game—and that’s why he’s been falling.
Here are a couple of the main reasons:
1. The Shot
Grant has a bad shot, there is no way to sugar coat it. He struggled all year to develop it so much so that he just didn’t shoot jumpers. All of last season, Grant took just five three-pointers, missing all of them, and shot under 50 percent, mostly on layups and dunks. Grant really needed to come back this past year and work on his shot at Syracuse. But instead, Grant remained much the same player he was his freshman year.
The next question for Grant becomes what position he plays. Because he cannot shoot very well, it is hard to imagine Grant playing a small forward role, or at least a traditional small forward role. And if you watched closely, Grant didn’t have great post moves, so it would again be difficult seeing him in a traditional power forward role. It will be hard for Grant to carve out a role without a lot of work on his game. Work that could have happened in another year at Syracuse, but now could wind up taking Grant on a trip to the D-League.
While those two things are really going against Grant, I can’t help but think he could develop into a very helpful player in the NBA. Watching the NBA Finals, seeing a guy like Kawhi Leonard brings images of Jerami Grant to mind.
They have similarly built bodies, play with a similar type of energy, and can guard players who play multiple positions on the floor. But the biggest difference? Leonard has the jumper.
But the jumper is something that Leonard developed over his first few years with the Spurs, something he didn’t have coming into the NBA. Maybe Grant can play the same way.
Honestly, the best place for Grant to end up would be the Spurs. However, it remains to be seen whether he will make it that long on draft night. The newly crowned NBA Champions have always done an outstanding job developing players, like Kawhi Leonard, and it would be a great landing spot for Grant, a player who needs coaching.
Landing in San Antonio would be the best to create a long career for Grant.
Posted by: Seth Goldberg