Detroit Pistons: Can Jerami Grant become an NBA All-Star?

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9)Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant (9)Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Voting for the 2021 NBA All-Star voting has begun. The Detroit Pistons have a prime candidate for selection in Jerami Grant. What are his chances of making it?

The thought that Jerami Grant would be a possibility for the NBA All-Star Game seemed ludicrous until a couple of months ago. He averages less than 10 points a game for his career.

But, look at his stat line for the 2020-21 season so far: 23.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.9 steals. And of course, excellent defense.

The 6-foot-9 Grant was known as one of those players who helped other players look good enough to be all-stars. He was the sidekick, the role player who did a lot of the dirty work, while others got the glory.

Until this season, Grant had never averaged more than 13.6 points in a season. He was a nice player on offense, it was thought, but Grant was best-known for his defense.  His guarding of LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the 2020 Western Conference finals drew Grant a lot of praise.

But while coaches and the media always talk about how important defense is to winning, it is the guys who put the ball in the hoop the most, that get all the huge contracts and honors.

For example, Bobby Jones is recognized as one of the best defensive forwards in NBA history. It took him over 30 years to get into the Naismith Hall of Fame. Detroit native George Gervin was an amazing scorer from the same era, he made the Hall of Fame in 1996.

(Both deserved to make it, just pointing out how much earlier the great offensive player was inducted before the defensive player).

Now that Grant moved this season to play for the Detroit Pistons, and become one of the leading scorers in the NBA, there is plenty of talk of him making the NBA All-Star team. Before, the only league team he was considered for was All-Defensive.

The case for Jerami Grant making the NBA All-Star team

Grant , as of Friday, was 21st in scoring average in the NBA at 23.8 points a game. He is only a tenth-of-a-point out of 18th place (right behind James Harden).

That is just raw points. If you switch the category to Offensive Player Efficiency, he is a very solid 45th (20.25) considering the volume of shots he takes.

That is the remarkable thing about Grant’s offensive explosion. He is not just chucking up shots whenever he gets the ball. The 6-foot-8, 26-year-old has been getting his points in the flow of the Pistons offense.

Coach Dwane Casey is looking at ways to get Grant open looks, now that opposing defenses have to respect his shot. He no longer is ‘the other guy’ on offense.

"“Different ways of getting the ball, different positions on the floor, different combinations working with him,” Casey said to “That’s huge for him. That’s a work in progress. It’s something that we’ll see as we go. He’s doing different things every game.“… The usage factor that he has and the amount of energy it takes to be that guy,” Casey said of the challenge Grant faces. “He’s finding that out. This is a process for him also to be that guy. He’s doing an excellent job of it.”"

Despite playing a lot more than he has in the past (11 more minutes a game), as the Pistons go-to player, Grant is actually shooting a higher percentage, compared to his career average in three-pointers (40.2% to 35%) and a lot better on foul shots (87.4 to 68.6%).

Importantly, even though Grant is playing more, and has the ball in his hand a lot now, compared to what he did previously, his turnover rate is only slightly higher (1.5 to 1.0) while his assists average is way up (2.9 to 1.1).

This kind of season has attracted a lot of notice, with plenty of talk about Grant being named an All-Star.

Of course, being an All-Star is not like making the honor roll at school. No matter how many good players there are, only 12 can represent a conference in the game.

Despite their overall record, Grant has helped lead the Pistons to victories over some of the top teams in the NBA, like the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and the Boston Celtics.

Voting on the NBA All-Star Game started last Thursday and runs through Feb. 16.

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Saturday, January 30 is a ‘Two-for-1’ Day, where votes count double. So if you want to see Jerami Grant in the All-Star Game, it is a perfect day to vote for him.

It would be a great sign, for all the role players who could never dream before at making an all-star team, if Grant could make it.