The Detroit Pistons suck. They’re currently under the Mendoza Line at 3-13. So let’s not talk about them. Instead, let’s talk about their big offseason acquisition, Jerami Grant.
Jerami Grant picked the Pistons over staying with the Nuggets despite Denver offering him similar money. He did that because he felt he deserved a larger role in the offense. He believed in himself. Readers of this website will know that we, too, have believed in Jerami Grant for quite some time. I, a Pistons fan, was excited when Detroit signed him, but also a little bittersweet because Denver sorely needed his talents, and I enjoy that team.
Turns out, Grant’s belief in himself was warranted because he has started this season balling out.
Grant is one of only 19 players averaging 24+ points per game (LeBron James is averaging 23.9, to give you context; please don’t read this as Grant > LBJ, the King is just a reference point since most NBA fans know how he plays). Grant is tied with Donovan Mitchell in points per game. Grant’s also one of only 19 players to average 18 shot attempts per game. He’s one of only 21 players to average 20+ PPG and 6+ rebounds per game, and one of only NINE players to average 24+ PPG and 6+ RPG.
JERAMI GRANT scored a career-high 32 last night.— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 21, 2021
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When you add in Grant’s 2+ assists per game, and 1+ block per game, you get a list of six players: Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Kevin Durant. (By the way, KD’s the only one of those six to be 30+ years of age; everyone else is 27 or younger.)
Durant and Grant are the only two players on that list to average 6+ 3-point attempts per game. Out of every player in the NBA to average 6+ 3PA per game, they’re both top 20 in 3PT% (Durant’s at 4th with 47.5 3PT%, Grant is tied for 20th at 38.2 3PT%, Steph Curry’s 21st at 37.9 3PT%).
Grant’s a good player on a bad team. His shot selection is going to reflect that. His True Shooting percentage of 56.9 puts him right around Trae Young and Davis Bertans and Malcolm Brogdon, and is just one point behind LeBron at 57.9 TS%. Grant is 26 years old, though, and he’s on a team that can’t close games yet. As the talent around him gets better, his game should improve as well.
Grant’s only signed for three years, but it already seems like it was a good deal for both sides. If Grant continues to play like this, he’ll be in for a bigger payday before he’s 30; meanwhile, the Pistons will have an actual wing player they can build around. (Saddiq Bey and Grant form a nice tandem.)
Grant’s ADP in ESPN leagues was 51st, right ahead of CJ McCollum. Grant is currently in the top 20 on ESPN’s Player Rater, ahead of players like CJ, Jaylen Brown, Trae Young, Domantis Sabonis, Brandon Ingram, Bradley Beal, DeMar DeChozan, and Ben Simmons.
Grant’s playing up to his contract, and he’s outperforming his ADP. He’s actually doing it.
(All stats as of prior to Sunday’s games.)