Mar 20, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Jerami Grant (3) and Western Michigan Broncos center Shayne Whittington (21) during the game in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Jerami Grant Still Searching for Answers

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When Jerami Grant was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 39 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, there was shock all around. Jerami Grant didn’t think he would be available at 39 and neither did the 76ers. After the draft, 76ers GM Sam Hinkie said, “We were shocked that he was still there. I was just shocked,” he said. “I think even Jerami was shocked. I think he anticipated he would go considerably higher.”

The 76ers didn’t even choose to workout Grant, because both parties agreed that between picks No. 10 and 32, that Grant wouldn’t be available. Regardless, the former Syracuse product landed in Philadelphia and was reunited with another Syracuse alumni in Michael Carter-Williams. However, the slip in the NBA Draft proved that Jerami Grant would have a lot to prove, starting with the NBA Summer League.

The 6’8″ forward played in both the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer League’s for the 76ers. After his performances, it turned out that Grant needed all the playing time he could get. In 12 games, Grant only made 3-of-12 three-point attempts. His three makes came in a two game stretch which happened to be his most impressive stretch of Summer League.

Jan 13, 2014; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Jerami Grant (3) pulls down a rebound in front of Boston College Eagles guard Lonnie Jackson (20) during the second half at Silvio O. Conte Forum. Syracuse Orange won 69-59. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Only July 8 against the Rockets, Grant posted 12 points and five rebounds on 4-of-9 shooting (1-of-1 from 3), while hitting 3-of-5 from the line. The next game which occurred on July 9 was against the Brooklyn Nets. The forward dropped another 12 points, this time on 4-of-5 shooting, while also collecting five more boards. For a few games, it seemed like Grant was starting to put some things together.

Even in his next game, Grant scored 8 points and made 50 percent of his shots from the field. It was a bright spot considering the fact that Grant scored a total of four points in his first two Summer League games. After this small “explosion” for Jerami, he disappeared.

In the next four games, Grant would only score in double figures once, which was an 11 point outing on 3-of-6 shooting. Besides that, Grant failed to make more than three field goals in any of the games, shooting a combined 2-of-12 in his last two games. His Summer League was as much up as it was down, leaving Jerami Grant as a man still searching for his niche in the NBA.

Where does he fit?

Who really knows and that question certainly wasn’t answered during Summer League. Even though the Thaddeus Young trade rumors are flying more than ever, it would appear that Grant and Young fit the same mold. Both are tweeners that rely on their intangibles to last, at least that’s what Grant will have to learn to survive in the vicious life of the NBA. It may be a hidden secret if Young stays around to mentor and show Jerami Grant the ways.

If that isn’t an option, Grant will benefit from spending some time with the Delaware 87ers in the D-League to get his feet under him. For a player that needs development like Grant, jumping to the NBA might not be the best option for him. He’s shown flashes of brilliance, but his craft will need a lot of honing to turn those flashes into something that becomes more consistent.

 

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