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While you weren’t watching, Jerami Grant became an All-NBA player

Grant has quietly become one of the best young players in the NBA.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Jerami Grant is having a career year.

He’s scoring the most points per game of his five year career (13+ PPG), grabbing the most rebounds of his career (5+ RPG), collecting the most steals (0.8 SPG), and his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, have the third best record in the Western Conference, the third best point differential in the West, the third best defensive rating (as a team) in the entire NBA, and the 7th best net rating overall. They have wins over the Clippers, the Warriors, the Jazz (four times!), Portland, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Houston; and, if they hadn’t lost to a beatable Dallas team (twice), and a young/bad/tanking Atlanta team, they’d have three more wins, they’d be 45-23, and they’d be one game behind first place Golden State in the West. The OKC Thunder are absolutely one of the best teams in the NBA this season. And Jerami Grant is a big reason why.

Grant was drafted in the second round in 2014 by Philadelphia with the 39th overall pick. (Khris Middleton was the 39th overall pick in 2012. Remember that.) Grant’s 6’9”, he just turned 25 years old, and you have no idea who he is. Philly traded him to OKC a few years ago for Ersan Ilyasova and a first round pick (that will devolve into two second rounders if not conveyed). Philly’s favorite, Bryan Colangelo, is the genius who made that trade, and while 76ers fans probably don’t miss Grant that much (unlikely they’d have Tobias Harris if they’d kept Jerami Grant), it still hurts to know that Ilyasova isn’t on the Sixers, at all, while Jerami Grant has blossomed into one of the best young forwards in the game. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some numbers and see if I can convince you.

Grant’s line this season is 13+ PPG, 5+ RPG, 1 APG, and 1+ BPG. For starters, only 20 players total have lines this season that meet or exceed those numbers. (Only around 40 players average a block per game; only 15 players average 30+ minutes per game AND 1+ block per game.) Just off that box score comparison alone, Grant’s good AF.

He’s taking 9.8 field goal attempts per game and has a 50.9 FG% (top 30 for players averaging 9+ FGA per game), and 3+ 3PA per game on 37.5 3PT% (elite perimeter defender Jimmy Butler takes 3+ 3PA and has a 34.7 3PT%, btw). Grant’s played in every single game this season, he’s averaging 30+ minutes per game, and out of every player in the NBA who plays at least 30 minutes per game, Jerami Grant has THE LOWEST turnover average, 0.8 TO per game. Grant has 50 turnovers TOTAL on the season. You know who else has 50 TOs? The Boban (508 total minutes played), Dante Exum (661 total minutes played), Jerian Grant (Jerami’s brother on Orlando, 895 total minutes played), Marcin Gortat (750), Norm Powell (854), and Tristan Thompson (1,043 total minutes played). Jerami Grant has played 2,135 minutes this season, over twice that of Tristan. I went to to see if that was a big outlier, and yup! If Grant keeps this up, he’ll have the 5th best (lowest) TO average for players who average at least 30 MPG in history.

19 players in the NBA this season average 30+ MPG and have a 50+ FG%. Like we said before, Jerami’s one of the 30ish most efficient offensive players this season. Out of this group of 19, Grant has the third best 3PT% (37.5), and the 7th best block rate (1.3 BPG, tied with LaMarcus Aldridge). In fact, only three players in the NBA average 30+ MPG, and take 3+ 3PA per game, have a 37+ 3PT%, grab 5+ RPG, and 1+ BPG: Grant, Robert Covington, and Karl-Anthony MFing Towns. Those are three dudes that are absolutely everywhere during games. According to, Grant’s run the 19th most (total) this season, 162.5 miles (Kevin Durant’s at 161.4 total miles).

Jerami’s efficiency isn’t a fluke, either. His True Shooting is 59.8% (only 24 players total can match that), and he has the 16th best offensive rating on the season (110.7), and the 15th best plus-minus (+4.8) of players who average 30+ MPG (tied with CJ McCollum). If Grant were better at free throws (he’s shooting a career best 70+% from the line), he’d have a 60+ TS%, which means you’re elite (only 17 players have a 60+ TS%).

However, it’s Grant’s defense that’s really shining. He has the 5th best overall defensive rating (103.7), according to, and the 9th best overall net rating (7 even). He has the 7th best net rating for players under 26 years old. He’s also 10th best in ESPN’s defensive win shares (tied with, you guessed it!, Khris Middleton, who is a 6’8” wing who was ALSO drafted with the 39th overall pick, and who ALSO plays with an MVP candidate). ESPN’s DRPM has Grant ranked one spot higher than Jimmy Butler, another elite perimeter defender. Although, to be fair, ESPN’s PER measure has Grant as a sub-average player (14.18 PER this season), so I would imagine that Grant’s relatively low amount of shot attempts is why (or, PER is just, y’know, as flawed as people have been saying for ages).

Or, look at Grant’s play this way: when he’s on the court for the Thunder, their team is +7. When he’s off, they’re -1.7 (Paul George is +9 when on, -9 when off; god damn).

Fantasy-wise, Jerami Grant’s been the 69th best player in ESPN basic this year (one spot behind JJ Redick). Coincidentally, Grant’s 69% owned in ESPN leagues. The Big KAT, Karl-Anthony Towns, who is the only other player to amass stat cat totals equal to Jerami Grant (870+ points, 340+ rebounds, 80+ blocks, 80+ 3PM, 50+ steals), is 99.9% owned. Jimmy Butler is also 99% owned.

The top 10 forwards in plus-minus this year (30+ MPG) are Giannis, KD, PG13, Khris Middleton, Pascal Siakam, Jayson Tatum, Kawhi Leonard, Jerami Grant, Joe Ingles, and Jimmy Butler. Only Giannis, Siakam, Tatum, and Grant are 25 or younger.

Jerami Grant is one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA this season, he’s one of the best defenders, and he doesn’t turn the ball over. He’s having his best season in his fifth year, he’s still younger than Kawhi (for example), and he’s improving as a shooter. In February, he averaged 11 shots per game with a 56 FG% and a 55 3PT% on 3+ 3PA per game, and 6+ RPG. He’s getting better. He’s 25 years old. Jerami Grant is becoming one of the best players in the NBA. You have no idea who he is, but everything suggests that you will soon. Can’t wait to see this guy in the playoffs.