Why Jerami Grant would be a fit for the Timberwolves
The Timberwolves have been interested in Jerami Grant for years. When he ended up with the Detroit Pistons after restricted free agency in the summer of 2020, the Wolves were one of the handful of other teams rumored to be seriously interested.
Grant has yet to turn 28 years old and has one year remaining on his contract following this season, so an acquisition won’t come on the cheap.
The Pistons continue to be one of the league’s worst teams, and Grant has been miscast as a lead scorer for a bad team. While his per-game scoring has gone up along with a skyrocketing usage rate, Grant’s offensive efficiency has taken a hit.
Between the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, which he split between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets, Grant shot 39.1 percent on 3-point attempts and 54.7 percent on 2-point tries. His effective field goal percentage was 56.2 percent across those two campaigns.
In 78 games across his one-plus seasons in Detroit, Grant has shot just 34.4 percent from deep and 46.7 percent inside the arc with an effective field goal percentage of 48.4 percent.
Grant has been asked to do much more on a weak Pistons roster, and he’s remained a solid defender throughout a slew of losses. Last season, his minutes were divided between the two forward spots. This year, he has spent much of his time on the floor at the 4 alongside young wings Saddiq Bey and Cade Cunningham.
Grant’s fit with the Wolves would be strong, as a bouncy, athletic forward who can guard 3s and 4s and theoretically add some of the scoring punch that Vanderbilt and McDaniels are missing.
The concern would be in the rebounding department; Grant is a below-average rebounder at the 4 and doesn’t play much better in that category at the 3, either. The Wolves have been one of the league’s worst defensive rebounding teams all season, and any minutes with Grant on the floor in place of Vanderbilt — or even McDaniels, for that matter — would be minutes in which Minnesota would surely be killed on the glass.
While the offensive ceiling of a lineup with Russell, Edwards, Grant, and Towns is astronomical, there would be real concerns about that unit even approaching being competitive on the glass.
There’s also the issue of Grant’s 3-point shooting. Can the Wolves take a chance on yet another player whose arrow is suddenly pointing downward from outside the arc? Russell, Prince, Beasley, and Patrick Beverley are all having career-worst shooting seasons. Grant is, too, and while a progression to the mean could be on tap, it’s a worrisome trend that now spans two seasons.
The biggest concern, of course, is related to the acquisition cost. Let’s take a look.