In what was likely a pre-arranged agreement after the team declined his option, 6’10 forward Grant Jerrett has re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com.
Free agent Grant Jerrett has reached agreement on a multi-year deal to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, league source tells RealGM.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 14, 2014
This is one of the most fascinating case studies in the D-League right now, in my opinion. As one of the few players in that league that has a clearly defined position and role in the NBA — a stretch-4 — Jerrett is a valuable piece moving forward in a league that can always use floor-spacing from big men. The D-League was quite literally created so that teams like the Thunder could have a chance to develop young, potential role players like Jerrett, so it’s nice to see them continue to get a chance to do so.
Jerrett was a five-star high school prospect that declared for the draft after a middling freshman season at Arizona. Even though he clearly wasn’t ready for the NBA, it’s a decision that I didn’t really have much issue with at the time. Arizona had Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson incoming along with Brandon Ashley returning. Undoubtedly, he would have gotten playing time given his skill set — and in reality he’s just about a perfect fit with Gordon on the collegiate level — but that is quite a risky situation to put yourself in. Had Arizona decided to roll with the other three in their 3/4 spots, Jerrett’s draft stock could have been shot. And given the way it worked out, now incoming freshman Stanley Johnson wouldn’t have made the situation any better in 2014.
But given that pedigree, there is still obviously a lot to work with here. Jerrett averaged 15.1 points per game in the D-League this past season, and shot 36% from three-point range on nearly five attempts per game while corralling a solid 18% of available defensive rebounds while he was in the game.
Having just turned 21 last week, Jerrett is definitely a D-Leaguer to watch for the next couple of seasons. With the need for floor-spacing and shooting from big men so utterly prevalent in today’s game, Jerrett is as good a bet as any other player in the D-League right now to make the NBA eventually. There is probably a universe where Jerrett continues to develop and reaches the level that Channing Frye hit this season with the Suns. That’s the kind of talent we’re talking about here. Whether or not he can get there will be up to his work ethic and the Tulsa/Oklahoma City coaching staffs.
Even if it doesn’t work out like that, this was a no-brainer decision for the Thunder, and one that should pay dividends for them moving into the future.