The Hawks are scheduled to work out the Notre Dame Guard Jerian Grant. Grant had a stellar collegiate career and fell just short of leading the Fighting Irish to the Final Four this past season. After a brilliant beginning to his junior season was halted due to academic allegations, Grant was cleared to return to the team for his senior season. He picked up right where he left off. Grant averaged 16.5 points, 6.7 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals as the point guard for the Irish. He had a down year from the three point line, shooting just 31.6%, but had never shot below 34% before his senior season. Many mocks have Grant going in the late teens and early twenties, but why might the Hawks take a chance at 15 on the star from Notre Dame?
The number one reason Grant is being looked at by the Hawks has to be his playmaking ability. The Hawks were a great team last year, but clearly lacked some individual playmaking ability when it really counted. Grant is a huge size mismatch and a terrific one on one basketball player. At 6 feet 5 inches, Grant can easily shoot over smaller point guards. He also can create space with his dribbling ability, and knock down shots when he has very little space. No game showed these abilities better than when Notre Dame beat the eventual national champions Duke Blue Devils.
However, Grant is far from just a scoring point guard. As seen on the video, Grant also had 12 assists in the game. For the most part, Grant is looking to make the right pass. He has unbelievable vision and a tremendous accuracy on his passes. He is a terrific pick and roll guard and rarely turns the ball over. Grant’s passing is something that will translate well in the NBA, and something the Hawks organization will really take a liking to during his workout. The biggest question mark surrounding Grant is his defense. He shows flashed of brilliance, but does not always seem to have his head in the game on defense. He is far too inconsistent on defense to play well in the NBA right now.
So is Grant the right pick for the Hawks at number 15? I am going to go with no, but I say that very squeamishly. His talent his undeniable, but I am not sure if his game is already topped out. He is the most polished senior in this year’s draft behind Frank Kaminsky, but he will still need to make improvements to be a good NBA player. He is good at a lot of things, but not great at one. His struggles on defense also do not look promising. We saw what happened to John Jenkins in the Hawks organization. To be on the floor, Budenholzer requires his guys to play good defense. If Grant could not provide that right away, he would see very little of the floor, and that is not what the Hawks need with their pick in this draft.