Grant Jerrett has made himself available to the 2013 NBA Draft. He spent one season in Tucson and scored 5.2 points per game and grabbed 3.6 rebounds per game. It was announced via school release late Wednesday night. Read it here.
Now this decision has surprised many. The numbers, size, and preparedness don’t quite scream league so much as they plead improve. What’s more is that this decision coupled with its supporting documents (stats, tempo-free stats, scouting report, scouting report), suggest the young man is making a poor choice.
Per DraftExpress’ Mock 2013 Draft (which Jerrett is not listed on) the average projected lottery pick put up 15 ppg and 7 rpg. The average projected draft pick (both rounds, excluding internationals)? 16 and 6. That’s a far cry from 5 and 3.
The NBA Draft is a futures bet, a choosing of the player one thinks has the best opportunity to eventually succeed. By that logic, Jerrett arguably has as good a shot as anyone to prove a worthy pick. Jerrett may have produced 11 fewer points and 3 fewer boards per game than the average pick, but who’s to say he won’t be a formidable pro with a few years under his belt?
He did, of course, score just five more points per game than Yi Jianlian’s chair.
Look, I don’t know if Grant Jerrett is ready for the NBA and neither do you. It also, unfortunately, appears that whoever he’s trusting for advice doesn’t either.
I also don’t know the full tale behind how this came to be and I won’t venture to know. I choose to trust that such life decisions are made under the auspices of best interest. Maybe some NBA team middling in this draft is head-over-heels for the kid? I don’t know. There would also appear to be a higher power at work here and not the one his mother alludes to in her tweeted/texted announcement. God isn’t going to help Grant here.
But what I do know is that Jerrett is gone and that Arizona Adam is pissed about it. I selfishly wanted this kid in Cardinal and Navy for another year. A dynamic stretch four getting dished to by TJ McConnell with a bevvy of league-caliber athletes attacking the rim with an additional footer beneath it? Yes, please.
Grant, my man, you were going to have a great time in Dallas next spring.
But Rational Adam (puh-lease, like there is one) urges me to take a step back and take a second look. Here’s an 18-year-old who has someone in one ear telling him he can fulfill his NBA dreams. That he can be playing with or against the likes of players who’ve adorned his walls.
Grant, they’re no longer posters on your wall, they’re your contemporaries.
In the other ear?
Stay in college. Don’t make money. Don’t live a lavish life of 24/7 hoop and luxury. Go to class. Grant, you’re not good enough.
Because ultimately we hear what we want to hear, right? This could very well be as simple as hearing “you’re good” vs. “you’re not good.” A gross simplification of the two arguments. Now, I’m not naive to think this boils down to something that elementary, but when it comes to our dreams, we no doubt have our filters.
I still remember the MLBPA prospect card a Mets scout once asked me to complete. I’d have signed away my 82mph fastball on the spot.
Back to Grant, I don’t want the door to hit him on his way out. My hope is that it remains open, a genuine gesture of Coach Miller’s Player’s Program. And while his time in Tucson was brief, the hope is that it prepared him for his next endeavor. After all, that’s the ultimate goal of college, no?
Which brings me to the point that’s most frustrated me about this process. Without diving into the oft-visited NCAA criticism rabbit hole, players should get to attend NBA draft camps. It’s like an internship. It’s no different than a math major passing a summer crushing excel at an I-Bank only to discover she isn’t cut out for that crap.
Go. Learn and be amongst your contemporaries and get a professional evaluation from the people who are professionally evaluating you anyways. That is fair. That is just.
As it is today, kids, coaches, advisors and whoever the hell else is involved are left to guess work. As an outsider, I’m left to judge Grant Jerrett’s draft prospects on 5.2 and 3.6. Thirty-four games against the best competition he’s ever faced.
Give these kids a chance to succeed as opposed to the opportunity to fail.
I’ll maintain this isn’t the best decision for Grant Jerrett. And it also doesn’t seem to be completely his decision. Come to your own conclusions at this, but his agent to be, Brian Dyke, is the brother-in-law of his High School coach and the father of recent Arizona de-commit, Eric Cooper Jr. Dyke has represented just two NBA players.
None of it seems to stack up too neatly but I hope he succeeds. I always have.
I’m just bummed to see him do it in a different jersey.