Jerami Grant Trade Perfectly Depicts Philadelphia 76ers Uncertainty


Jerami Grant may no longer be a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, but this month’s trade, where the Sixers acquired Ersan Ilyasova and a 2020 protected first-round pick, is proof that every pick and roster spot counts.

The early November trade between the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder brings up two popular arguments over the past few seasons, in regards to ‘Process Sixers:’

Should a noncompetitive team use their roster spots on veterans who can help win right now, or test some of those 15 slots with projects?  Or is it part of president Bryan Colangelo’s plan to seed the roster with veterans to help develop younger players?

The transaction, that took place November 1, perfectly featured every angle to this argument. On one side, you have the 29-year-old Ilyasova, who has years of experience in the NBA (averaging 10.8 points per game in 23.3 minutes), and has proven to Philadelphia that he can help the team win games.

Down south in Oklahoma, you have a young, project wing, who is still trying to find his identity. Lastly, you factor in the unknown, which is the Oklahoma City Thunder 2020 first-round draft pick (in case you’re wondering, here are the terms of that protected draft pick, via RealGM).

"Two years after Oklahoma City conveys a 1st round pick to Utah, Oklahoma City will convey itsMore from The Sixer Sense3 Sixers players who could help Team USA Basketball76ers 2k24 ratings: 3 most underrated players on Philadelphia roster76ers head coach Nick Nurse bares lofty plans for Paul Reed this seasonGrade the Trade: 76ers swap Tobias Harris for superstar PG in mock dealSixers Podcast: Danny Green returns + James Harden bombshell1st round pick to Philadelphia protected for selections 1-20 in 2020, 1-20 in 2021 and 1-20 in 2022; in any year, if this pick is not conveyed because it falls within its protected range, then Oklahoma City will instead convey its 2022 2nd round pick and 2023 2nd round pick to Philadelphia (i.e., the 1st round pick will not roll over to the following year if it is not conveyed due to protection) [Oklahoma City-Philadelphia, 11/1/2016]"

Translated, the pick is either the 2020 first round pick (1-20 protected) or it converts into the 2022 and 2023 second round picks.

For Sixers fans, it’s very easy to claim that your team has won this trade, because you’ve acquired two of the three examples above, while the Thunder only received one, but you have to be objective. Where is the 6-foot, 10-inch tall, Ersan Ilyasova, going to be in four years, while Grant is still only 26 years old? Also, what is the 2020 first-round pick (or second-round picks) going to become?  Jerami Grant was the 39th pick of the 2014 NBA draft, so in a worst case scenario, you could argue the Philadelphia 76ers are playing a game of kick the can down the road, swapping one second round pick for two.

This is why the process (not Joel Embiid, although he’s a lovely man) is such an interesting debate. On paper, the trade looks phenomenal for the Sixers, because they replaced an expendable piece for a player that’s helping them right now, along with a potential first-round pick; but, as mentioned above, it could turn out to be small value in the end.

Since the 2013 NBA Draft, here are the second-round selections, made by the Philadelphia 76ers (leaving out any trades that took place immediately after the pick):

It’s too early to tell how these former second-rounders’ careers will turn out, and it’s also too early to judge the Philadelphia-Oklahoma City trade.  But keep in mind that Sam Hinkie was the wand wielder behind the second round draft magic in the NBA. Hinkie is no longer with the team.

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That pick that the Sixers acquired probably conveys as two second-round selections, and there’s little value in those, right? Then again, as seen above, Jerami Grant was drafted 39th overall, and he’s the reason I wrote this.