The first things Rece Davis had to say about the 40th pick and the Portland Trailblazers’ selection of Jerrett were surrounding his choice to declare and his lack of a neck. Bill Simmons remained distraught over his Celtics’ recent trade and dismissed the selection all together.
Grant Jerrett’s NBA career was off to a glowing start.
And then late – while I was researching Andre Roberson’s prospects as a member of the Thunder – I discovered the Arizona dropout was acquired by Roberson’s guaranteed team for “cash considerations.” Whether Jerrett feels he needed quick rationale to validate leaving Tucson is beyond me. I’d hope such validation comes in the form of on-court production. “Cash considerations,” however, won’t soon help his cause.
But maybe the Thunder – who even bothered to yield dollar bills for the kid – see something we don’t. After all, this is the franchise that has traded away the likes of James Harden and Jeff Green and remains a perennial power. They recognized Serge Ibaka at the back of the draft and took heat for selecting Russell Westbrook and Harden as high as they did (how’d that work out?).
So Jerrett joins – or at least has a fighting chance to – the Thunder. Jay Bilas spent much of the draft lead-up referencing wingspan and length and between their two new Pac-12ers, OKC has found such. Roberson measures in at 6’7″ with 6’11” wings while Jerrett touts 6’9″ and 7’2″. Effing condors.
[Insert something about hand size here]
Of course those are the facts on Grant. He’s tall, he’s long, he has advanced footwork and a nice touch. He can shoot a lick. Or at least he can do all of this in an empty gym. He’s perhaps unique to this draft in that he really hasn’t played a ton of basketball. And what “high level” basketball he has played, he’s produced just 5ppg and 3rpg. I compared that to the projected draft upon his declaration to find the average draft pick was putting up 16/6.
But this is why Sam Presti is paid for his job.
The Oklahoma City Thunder made their futures bet with whatever wealth of knowledge they held on Grant Jerrett and the confidence of previously successful evaluations. They also don’t have to give Jerrett a single thing. They’re only on the financial hook to the Trailblazers. Or at least they’re considering it.
It’s game time for Grant.