Outside of Detroit, Jerami Grant is was not considered an All-Star snub this past season, but a fair amount of Pistons fans were outraged that the breakout star was not voted into the game. There is some hope, though, as the path to his first All-Star game in 2022 is difficult, but very clear.
No part of his game was lacking. He was great on both ends of the floor, the clear number one option for the Pistons. He was the best player on a bad team, which usually doesn’t get you into the game, which isn’t news for De’Aaron Fox, DeMar DeRozen, and Devin Booker. Good players on bad teams simply do not make the All-Star game.
Next year, with the help of a lottery pick, Detroit should be much better. Their young guys have shown they can play some really good basketball, and without tanking, Jerami Grant should be able to play a full season.
The only statistical area of his game that was worse than great was his passing. He only racked up 2.8 assists per game, which isn’t bad but it’s not great either. With Saddiq Bey taking more shots and the addition of offseason shooters, either through the draft or free agency, more of Grant’s passes should become assists, so that’s an easy fix.
Grant averaged 4.6 rebounds, which is not awesome for a forward, but he’s more of a dynamic scoring threat, which comes at the cost of hanging around the basket.
If his scoring numbers remain the same, and if he leads the Pistons to at least ninth place when All-Star voting starts, he should be a lock.
Detroit Pistons: Why Jerami Grant won’t be an All-Star
I’m not convinced his numbers will remain the same as they did this year, unfortunately. This season he almost doubled his career-high of 13.6 points a game. Yes, this was his first season as the number one option, and yes, he will be an important part of the offense next year.
But will Detroit really have a clear offensive leader? Hayes is a pass-first guard, which means a lot of different players will be getting shots. Both Plumlee and Stewart can excel in the pick and roll, and Bey can knock down shots from outside the arc. Grant can score from anywhere, but will a more shared offense be good for his All-Star campaign? Probably not. He will be the best player on the court, but it will be a group game, and he won’t be the star of the show.
Oh, did I mention that a lottery pick is on the way? Probably in the top five too, which means either Cade, Mobley, or Suggs will be joining the squad, all of who are clearly NBA ready and will take a significant amount of minutes and touches away from players already on the team. And if the Pistons pass on those three, either Jalen Green or Johnathan Kuminga will be drafted to the Motor City, and both of those guys are already pros.
If Grant puts up the same numbers as he did this year, he should be a lock. I mean, his numbers were similar to Anthony Davis’s, but Davis plays on a good team in a big market. Grant doesn’t have that luxury. If he can either play the same or elevate his game, he’ll get his first nod, but with incoming talent, that doesn’t seem likely.