Jerami Grant's Floor-Poor Man's Kawhi

I don't know why this isn't being discussed more knowing Grant is a very much upside pick, but no one is comparing him to his carbon copy coming out of college, Kawhi Leonard. The one that just won finals MVP. They both have the same height with Kawhi at 6'7" and Grant at about 6'8", same wingspans Kawhi at 7'3" and Grant at 7'2.75". They were both PFs in college that would be wing size in the NBA. They both lacked offensive skills such as face up game, post game, or namely a broken jumpshot coming out. Rather both relied on their athleticism and measurements to win and defend, while others created for them on the offensive end. Very low body fat with grant at 3.8% and Kawhi at 5.4% however Kawhi was considerably more built with 13 Ibs more than Jerami who needs to add weight. Kawhi was developed for two years by Brett Brown with the spurs and now he will be developing Grant. Now to give their strengths and weaknesses by to give you more information for you decide.

Jerami Grant

Strengths: A very athletic forward prospect with top notch physical tools … Projects to be a wing, and has good size for the position at 6’8, and possesses outstanding length to match (7’2 3/4 wingspan) and a massive 8'11" standing reach … Has a good frame to add weight without the loss of athleticism, and should be an amply sized wing as he inevitably gets bigger … Runs the floor exceptionally well, and is a long strider with good speed and high level leaping skills … Gets off the floor quickly … Covers tons of ground every times he moves … His size and athleticism could allow him to be a Swiss army knife on the defensive end of the floor, as his length and lateral quickness are both tantalizing for a forward … Was pretty good and sound as a defender in the back of Cuse’s 2-3 zone, which bodes well for teams who wanted a clearer read on his ability to adjust to traditional NBA style defense … Nice pick and roll player … Is a good finisher around the rim and gets a high number of dunks … Able to "get skinny" around the rim to finish around defenders … Has some effective finger rolls and scoop shots … Is tough to stop from getting to the rim off the bounce from the foul line …Will be a hard cover for PF’s because of his quickness and ability to attack off the bounce inside the arc…Is generally effective without having many plays run through him … Moves well without the ball and is adept at cutting to the basket for easy baskets … Good offensive rebounder and will get put back dunks if the defense doesn’t box him out … Plays with energy and a good motor, and is willing to put his body on the line for loose balls … Got to the foul line at an extremely impressive rate last season, which speaks to his aggressive nature as a slasher … Has considerable potential as a player, and his ability to continually improve will be largely based on simply putting on pounds which shouldn’t be that hard for him to do … Was on Team USA’s U19 World Championship team this past summer (put didn’t participate in the actual game due to mono), and was applauded for his defensive efforts in practice sessions…Has promise, and will not be 21 years old until near the end of next season … Has relatively limited wear and tear, as he only played extended minutes this past season at Syracuse ...

Weaknesses: He could have some struggles to find a true position, especially initially in the NBA … Obviously needs to put on weight, and even though he has since HS it has been a fairly slow process and improving his thin body will have an impact on his NBA career … His perimeter skills are a bit underdeveloped, and he shows below average handles and a nonexistent jumper from deep … Pretty predictable off the dribble, and very rarely goes left … No good from anywhere outside of 12 feet as a shooter, and he made 0 3 pointers as a Soph. ... Has an awkward release that needs to be overhauled completely … Though he has real good defensive potential and put together some strong defensive performances in college and the World Championships, adjusting his instincts from Boeheim’s 2-3 zone to a largely man to man system will likely take a little time … Showed some raw instincts at times on defense in college …Was not nearly the type of shot-blocker or playmaker on defense his physical tools suggest he should’ve been this past season (0.6 bpg and 0.8 spg) … Reliant on teammates to produce offensively and generally is ineffective when his guards struggle, which happened often down the stretch for Syracuse … Has virtually no post game for a guy who played extended time at the PF spot and projects to play some minutes at PF at the next level in small-ball lineups …Rarely passes the ball … Still is a pretty green player, and has some learning to do before he reaches his potential as a player ...

Overall: Grant developed beautifully after a fairly underwhelming Fr. Season … He’s a tough matchup due to his size and athleticism as a forward … He’s a high energy player who could contribute in a number of ways on both ends as he develops … He should look to improve his perimeter skills, add strength and weight, and adjust defensively to be his best as a player, but he has plenty of time and potential to do so in the future … Grant is likely a 1st round pick in the 2014 draft ...

Kawhi Leonard

Strengths: A hybrid forward with terrific length … He has a high motor and plays the game with a lot of energy … Spends majority of the time on the perimeter, but occasionally shows the ability to play with his back to the basket … Uses an effective turnaround jumper inside when posting up … An agile athlete, his strides are extremely long and he covers a lot of space when running the floor … Shows improvement in majority of areas from freshman to sophomore seasons … His shooting has improved and he has become a respectable threat from the outside … Operating out of the triple threat, he combines a nice jab with a fairly quick and long first step to create separation … He has a strong preference going to his pull-up jumper, and once he gets into a rhythm he can string a number makes together (his length and high release make it a difficult shot to contest) … He is fairly comfortable handling the ball in the open court and is capable of pushing it out off the rebound when the situation calls for it … Even with the improvements to his offensive game, he still continues to contribute heavily in the rebounding department … His huge hangs, length, energy and great timing, allow him to snatch balls on both ends that are well outside of his rebounding area … An extremely quick jumper, he is very good at tipping the ball and keeping it alive on the rim … Has the instincts and shows potential in becoming a very solid defender … His ability to get out in the passing lanes and also contest shots inside make him a very dangerous weapon on the defensive end …

Weaknesses: Does not have one aspect offensively that stands out or which allows him to consistently score the ball … With his size and frame, will almost certainly be a perimeter player at the next level, but he lacks the polish and skill necessary to consistently operate on the wing … He does not have break down ability off the dribble and he is especially shaky handling the ball with his left hand … His jumpshot (while definitely improved) is still very inconsistent … The release comes high off his head and it is somewhat of a sling motion, which results in a fairly flat shot that goes all over the place … At this level, he has a size advantage on almost a nightly basis, but he still chooses to take the majority of his shots from the outside … Takes a high number of off balance shots, but does not show the ability to convert them at a good percentage … He does not have a great touch around the basket, and unless he can get inside position on the defense, he struggles finishing when contested … Not very disciplined defensively, he gambles far too often and leaves his team susceptible to giving up easy baskets …

Jerami Grant is very much a high risk/high reward pick. If he continues to rely on his defense while developing his jump shot, he could become a very athletic 3& shutdown defense wing/small ball stretch 4 or poor man's Kawhi. However if he develops much more of an offensive game he could reach near, present Kawhi levels or at least be better than most of the players drafted before him outside the teens. Plus the chemistry from previously playing with MCW should help.

As an added note, I think the 76ers might be looking for their star SF next year in Winslow or Stanley Johnson, but Jerami could become a great role player.

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