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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Syracuse F Jerami Grant

05.30.14 at 9:00 am ET

As part of’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.


Position: Forward
School: Syracuse
Age: 20
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 214 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-3

Key 2013-14 stats: 12.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Scouting report: Grant has youth and athleticism on his side, but does he have the skills? That’€™s the question NBA teams have to ask themselves as they evaluate the 20-year-old. Grant’€™s long wingspan and explosive vertical make him one of the more impressive athletes in the draft, and that should at least translate into productivity on the defensive end.

Grant’€™s fantastic lateral quickness and long arms will make him a fine man-to-man defender, but some players lack “feel for the game,” and that might be the case with Grant. His low block and steal totals in Syracuse’€™s zone are alarming considering his athleticism, and he often made poor choices with his rotations and weak-side help. It’€™s a legitimate concern, because if he has a hard time in the zone, playing a complicated man-to-man defense might prove to be too difficult.

And it’€™s not like he will definitely make up for it with his scoring. Grant, the son of former NBA forward Harvey Grant, is a high-flier and can throw down alley-oop slams, and he’s also very good if it takes him only one dribble to get to the rim. This gives him the upside required to be a threat in the pick-and-roll and off of offensive rebound putbacks. But Grant rarely, if ever, uses his left hand when dribbling the ball, which hinders his shot creation skills.

More alarming, Grant’s perimeter jumper is quite broken. He spreads his feet too much, has a hitch and he seems to lack touch. If he doesn’t develop his shot, it will limit his ability to get to the basket, which will be his most valuable attribute on offense. Nevertheless, the skills Grant brings as a high-energy role player will undoubtedly put him in the conversation as a mid-to-late first-round pick.

How he fits: If the Celtics go with a slow rebuild, Grant could be a good fit for them with the 17th pick. He brings fantastic potential on the defensive end, and the team may believe it can progress his raw scoring talents.

Related articles:

Grantland: Don’t forget about Jerami Grant

Sports on Earth: Making a name for himself

Video: Here is a video scouting report of Jerami Grant.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

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