Yesterday was a tough day for a lot of Chicago Bulls fans as Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks in a five-player deal. Chicago sent the former MVP along with Justin Holiday and a 2017 2nd round pick to the Big Apple for a package of Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon, and Jerian Grant. It was a very tough choice to make as Rose is viewed as the son of Chicago and is what many looked as the heir to the throne of MJ. But injuries derailed what looked like a very promising career. Chicago has to move on and they got a good deal in return for Rose. In a market where they seemed to be no value for Rose, Chicago got a good package back in exchange from him.
We know a bit more of what we are getting when we look at Robin Lopez and Jose Calderon, but Jerian Grant is more of an enigma.
Grant was the Knicks' first round pick last year and was a star in his time at Notre Dame. He's part of an NBA family: is brother Jerami Grant plays for the 76ers. His father played in the NBA, and his Uncle is Horace Grant, who won three titles with the Bulls and is currently in the front office right now.
Looking at his stats, it was clear that Grant had a very rough time playing for the Knicks. As noted by our good friend Stephen Noh at the Athletic.
It's going to be very interesting to see how Grant does in Fred Hoiberg's offense. Looking at his pedestrian 5.6 points per game, 2.3 assists per game and sub-40 percent shooting, it would appear that he was not very good last year in New York. But he struggled because of bad coaching, an archaic system and a poor fit. The Knicks wanted to run the triangle offense, which is very tough for a rookie point guard to learn. It didn't help matters that Derek Fisher was fired halfway through the season and his replacement, interim coach Kurt Rambis, favored the veteran Sasha Vujacic.
He is still developing and has room to grow as a player. One thing that Grant has going for him is that he is very athletic and is a high leaper. That could draw comparisons to another recent Bulls acquisition in Spencer Dinwiddie. Grant is also a decent defender so he won't be a liability on that end. He can get to the rim in a hurry and get up and score among the trees.
But there are obviously downsides to his play as well.
He also had a miserable year shooting the ball, hitting just 22 percent of his 3-pointers and 39 percent of his shots overall. Teams would sag way off him, giving him open looks and he still could not convert.
That's a problem the Bulls experienced last year with Rose and Jimmy Butler playing together, and they never really found a solution. Grant is still young enough that he could develop a better shot, but spacing will be an issue again in minutes he and Butler share.
On the bright side, like Noh stated, there is time for Grant to develop a jump shot and like we saw with Butler, that is something young players can develop.
The Bulls basically acquired two big, young and athletic point guards in Grant and Dinwiddie. Both are pretty big and their athleticism helps them on the defensive end. The problem will be on the offensive end as both are not the best. But Grant's ability to get to the rim along with having an insane leap helps him out a lot. Grant is a work in progress in terms of becoming a solid NBA player. A lot of work in fact. But the tools are there for him to succeed in the NBA and be a solid rotation player for the Bulls next season.