Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant a finalist for Most Improved Award

Detroit Free Press

Jerami Grant put together the best season of his career with the Detroit Pistons this season. NBA awards voters took note.

Grant is one of the three finalists for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, the league announced on Thursday. He’s competing with New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, and Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. for the honor.

After leaving the Nuggets for a featured role as a scorer with the Pistons last fall, Grant thrived by averaging a career-high 22.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. He would be the first Piston to win the award.

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Randle, who is the odds on favorite to win (-250) according to BetOnline, averaged a career-high 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and six assists for a surprising 41-win Knicks team which made the playoffs. Porter averaged 19 points and 7.1 rebounds for Denver in his second season in the league. A 2018 draft pick, he missed all of the 2018-19 season recovering from a back injury.

Draymond Green, Derrick Rose also award finalists

A pair of players with Michigan ties were also recognized when the NBA announced its award finalists.

Derrick Rose, who opened the year with the Pistons before being traded to the Knicks in February, is a finalist for Sixth Man of the Year.

Rose averaged 14.2 points and 4.2 assists in 15 games with the Pistons before requesting a trade to New York. The Pistons and Knicks agreed on a deal on Feb. 8, sending Dennis Smith Jr. and a 2021 second-round pick to Detroit. With the Knicks, Rose averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. The 2010-11 MVP has competition for the award from a pair of Utah Jazz players: Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles.

Former Michigan State forward Draymond Green, now with the Golden State Warriors, is a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. Green won the award in 2016-17 and has made the NBA’s All-Defensive team five times, most recently in 2018-19 (second team). Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers and Rudy Gobert of the Jazz are the other finalists.

The other award finalists

Most Valuable Player: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors; Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers; Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets

Rookie of the Year: LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets; Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves; Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings

Coach of the Year: Quin Snyder, Utah Jazz; Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks; Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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