Detroit Pistons: Forward Jerami Grant exceeding all expectations

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Even the Detroit Pistons couldn’t have predicted Jerami Grant would be this good or did they?

I will straight up come out and admit I wasn’t exactly pleased when Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver signed forward Jerami Grant to a lucrative three-year deal this past offseason.  It was more about the organization moving on from Christian Wood than it was about bringing in Grant.

The Detroit Pistons signed Grant to a $60 million deal but seemed to nickel and dime Wood.  There are mixed rumors as to what the Pistons were willing to pay Wood.  Some reports suggest the organization was only comfortable spending around $8 million per season; others suggest in the neighborhood of $12-$14 million per season.  Regardless, Wood opted to sign with the Houston Rockets for $13 million per season over three years.

That begs the question, why didn’t Detroit retain Wood and sign Grant?  Hindsight is 20/20, but both forwards are off to a hot start in 2021.

Grant is off to more than a ‘hot’ start; he’s out here breaking Detroit Pistons’ records.

Wood is averaging 23.3 points per game, along with 9.7 boards with the Rockets.  On the other hand, Grant is averaging 25.1 points per game, which ranks 12th in the NBA to go with 6.2 boards and nearly two assists per game.  Grant is also shooting a respectable 37.5% from three in ’21.

Grant brings a plethora of flexibility to the Pistons’ lineup.

With Blake Griffin in the starting lineup, head coach Dwane Casey plugs Grant in at the three-spot; when Griffin needs a day off to rest, it’s usually Josh Jackson in at the three, sliding Grant to the four to replace Griffin.

I would almost prefer to leave Grant at the three and insert Sekou Doumbouya at the four.  With rookie point guard Killian Hayes out due to injury, Casey has been forced to tweak his rotation, moving Delon Wright from the two to the point.  That leaves an opening for Jackson to slide in at the starting two rather than coming off the bench to pace the second group alongside Derrick Rose.

For you Detroit Pistons fans who were excited to see the former Denver Nuggets’ role player signed by Troy Weaver, and I know there were plenty of you at the start of free agency, I commend you.

I wasn’t so excited, but I sure am now.  Just to clarify, I didn’t berate the signing like some; I was just upset to see Wood go.  Grant’s performance in a Pistons’ jersey has quickly cured my heartburn.

Let’s put one more thing to rest.

Next. Three players that need to step up without Killian Hayes. dark

Grant isn’t just performing this well because he’s playing on a bad team; he’s performing this well because he’s good.