Before this season began, Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant had never averaged more than 13.6 points per game in the NBA. But, general manager Troy Weaver saw some big-time potential in the 6-foot-8, 210 pounder who had played for three other teams in his six year career. Big enough potential that Weaver gave Grant a three year, $60 million contract. Since then, Grant has done nothing but flourish.
30 games into his Pistons career, Jerami Grant has been perhaps the lone bright spot on a Detroit roster that has only posted eight wins. He has averaged a team best 23.5 points per game, which includes a season high 43 point output on February 17 against the Chicago Bulls.
Weaver has made it clear that Grant was his top priority in free agency since the signing. “Jerami was number one on the list to go after,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “His versatility, his growing, budding offense, but more importantly, what he brings everyday to the Pistons. He’s a guy who works hard, he’s professional, he’s a great teammate. All the things we embody.”
Though perhaps a bit surprised by Grant’s lightning quick emergence as a go-to guy, Pistons head coach Dwane Casey is loving what he is seeing as well. “It’s unusual,” he said in an interview with nba.com. “Especially when you make that transition from a semi-role player to a go-to guy. Kudos to Jerami. What we’re finding out is he’s very versatile. He can shoot the three, put the ball on the floor – the only thing we haven’t done with him so far is post up because of the spacing issues we have.”
Selected with the 39th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, Grant has also seen time with Philly, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Denver Nuggets. For his career, he averages 10.2 points per game, after playing in 484 games. Those numbers alone are a testament to the improvements that Grant has made in his game this season. Though the team around him continues to struggle, Jerami Grant is making the best of the situation with his personal play.