San Antonio Spurs should use time at NBA Disney to scout Jerami Grant
By Ethan Farina
The San Antonio Spurs should watch Jerami Grant at NBA Disney
Shortly after they finish up the final eight regular-season games of the season down in Orlando the San Antonio Spurs are going to enter into one of the most important offseasons in several years. And they won’t have a lot of time to mull things over, the condensed schedule is going to have things moving at lightspeed.
The Spurs and the rest of the league won’t have nearly as much time as they typically do to scout draft prospects, make their selections, and then starting thinking about potential free agents. With just a few days separating the 2020 NBA Draft on October 15th and the opening of free agency on the 18th it’s critical that San Antonio comes into free agency fully prepared to go in several different potential directions.
We’ve covered how these last eight games can impact current San Antonio Spurs such as Derrick White and Jakob Poeltl but what about guys who aren’t on the roster? With DeMar DeRozan potentially leaving this summer the Spurs could have a fair amount of financial flexibility to build out their roster in a more modern way.
When we think about what the San Antonio Spurs need out of their 2020 draft pick it usually comes back to either a two-way wing player or a versatile stretch forward like Patrick Williams. If they do end up selecting a wing player, going after Jerami Grant during free agency would help them shore up the forward position better than almost any rookie could.
The San Antonio Spurs should be watching Jerami Grant at NBA Disney
Like DeRozan, Grant will have a player-option available to him this summer. But on a recent episode of Posted Up with Chris Haynes Grant revealed that he is leaning towards declining that player option and taking more control over where he plays the next few years of his career.
“Being a potential free agent, I gotta play offense. So being a potential free agent this upcoming summer… me playing to the level I’ve been playing has surprised a lot of people… I definitely think about trying to figure out what I’m going to do next season, whether it’s come back or not…I’m definitely not leaning towards picking up the player option. Like you said, I feel like I definitely outplayed the $9 million that I’m making each year right now.”
Grant’s right, he’s differently going to be able to command more than $9 million a year this summer. Over the last two years, he’s gradually become exactly the kind of forward that the Spurs, or nearly any other team, could use on their roster.
He’s a versatile defender, able to guard nearly every position on the floor except point guards, can function as a wing, stretch four, or small ball center, and has knocked down nearly 40 percent of his 3-point attempts over the past two seasons.
On offense, he would help give the Spurs more options up front as he could easily play next to either LaMarcus Aldridge or Jakob Poeltl. Both of the two have played solid rim protection over the past two seasons and while that isn’t where Grant excels he would bring something that the Spurs have sorely been lacking.
As father time continues to slow down Rudy Gay, the Spurs have been left without a great option to defend the myriad of point forwards that they run into across the Western Conference. They don’t have anyone who can truly defend the Paul George’s and Brandon Ingram’s of the league. They’ve got the defensive point guards they need to but until the have someone who can help contain the versatile forwards that are littered across the conference the team’s ceiling could remain relatively low.
In his interview with Haynes, Grant did admit that he wouldn’t be opposed to coming back to Denver but given the potential that Michael Porter Jr. was starting to show this season it wouldn’t be surprising if the Nuggets hesitate on giving Grant the money he’s earned. That could open up a window for the San Antonio Spurs to strike.
With two games left against the Nuggets, the San Antonio Spurs will have plenty of time to take a hard look at a player who could potentially join them this summer.