A few days ago, Lebron James put a halt to the Nuggets’ magical playoff run that included not one but two come from behind series wins when trailing 3-1. A significant part of that Denver team was Jerami Grant, a small forward who is expected to opt-out of his contract and test free agency, and he won’t have a shortage of suitors.
Per Mike Singer of the Denver Post, at least three teams will be pursuing the versatile small forward in free agency, including the Atlanta Hawks, who have a boatload of cap space this offseason.
According to @msinger, the Suns, Hawks, and Pistons are expected to express interest in signing Jerami Grant this offseason.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 1, 2020
Grant’s been a quality perimeter defender for his entire career, which began with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2014. However, over the last two seasons, he has become a sniper from behind the arc, turning him into one of the Association’s premier 3-and-D players.
After shooting just 30.1% on 1.7 three-pointers per game over his first four seasons, Grant has upped those attempts to 3.6 per game over the last two years and is shooting 39.1% from behind the arc.
3-and-D players have become immensely valuable in today’s game, and Grant’s improved play was on display throughout this year’s playoffs. Given the Hawks’ struggles from behind the arc and on defense, he would be a perfect fit in Atlanta. His experience would also be valuable in mentoring the Hawks’ two second-year wings — Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter.
In a market that lacks many game-changing players, Grant will be among the most highly coveted free agent targets and should command somewhere around $15 million annually. With over $60 million coming off the books, the Hawks can easily outbid other potential suitors, but I wouldn’t expect Travis Schlenk to overpay for his services.
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