Jerami Grant doesn’t say much. Not after games, nor in advance of them, nor at his exit interview on April 25 when his entire transcript took up less than a printed page.
Also, even as he’s become an ever-greater contributor, his play has a tendency of not leaping out at you. Perhaps that’s because consistency, not a trademark of the Thunder, may be one for Grant.
He only scored 20 or more points in 10 of 80 games played, yet still averaged 13.6. Only three times did he exceed 23 points, and in only 9 of 80 did he fail to net at least eight points.
Another thing about Grant?
For the second straight season — unless you want to hand the title to Terrance Ferguson — he must be considered the Thunder’s most improved.
During the 2017-18 season, his points per game increased from 5.4 to 8.4 and his rebounding average popped from 2.6 to 3.9.
Yet, in 2018-19, the pops were even bigger, to the aforementioned 13.6 points per outing and 5.2 rebounds. His blocked shot average increased from 1 to 1.3 per game, too.
Though Patrick Patterson began the season in the Thunder’s starting five at the 4 spot — power forward — Grant quickly secured the position and finished the season starting 77 games and logging 32.7 minutes per outing, a 12.4-minute increase from the previous season.
One difference from that previous season, Grant’s role was more defined. He tended to stay in the 4 spot. Thanks to the acquisition of Nerlens Noel, rarely did he find himself having to play the role of a very undersized center in the absence of Steven Adams.
All of that and, but for those centers, Grant not only led the Thunder in 3-point shooting percentage at 39.2 — Paul George was next at 38.6 — but in overall shooting percentage, too, at 49.7.
Perhaps a high compliment to Grant, not one question to Billy Donovan during the Thunder coach’s exit interview was about him. The media covering the team, which tend to be more critical than, say, Donovan or general manager Sam Presti, simply took Grant as a given, without issue.
And, in one question to Donovan that Grant might have come up — does George need more support from other Thunder personnel to relieve the offensive burden he carries? — Donovan did not mention Grant.
Although, to be fair, he didn’t bring up anybody else either, because that’s just how Donovan rolls.
As for Grant himself?
Well, he doesn’t say much.
What might he add to his game?
“I’m going to try to work on everything. Consistency with my shooting, ball handling, defense, everything, pretty much,” he said.
Will he play the same role?
“Yeah, I think so,” he said. “We’ll see, though.”
Has Donovan played a big role in his development?
“I think the coaches, Billy, all of them, they did a good job of just putting me in situations where I can thrive,” Grant said. “I think they’ve been doing that since I got here, so it’s definitely good.”
Not only does there appear to be no complaints about Jerami Grant, he appears to have none of his own, as well.
Editor's note: This is the fifth of a 13-part series evaluating Thunder personnel under contract heading into the 2019-20 season. Next: Terrance Ferguson, Sunday.