If Jerami Grant had been this good a scorer for the Thunder, like, two years ago, would they have even made the Carmelo Anthony trade? I get that, at the time, it seemed like the Thunder were acquiring a “star”, but they didn’t even get much more production out of Carmelo that season (16 PPG) than they are out of Grant this season (14 PPG). Not to mention that Grant is way more efficient than Carmelo and doesn’t disrupt the Thunder’s limited ball movement in the way that Carmelo did and is skinnier than Carmelo and doesn’t need to wear a magical hoodie in order to be good at basketball like Carmelo needed.
This is all very easy for me to type with the benefit of hindsight. Grant showed some flashes of scoring potential after he got traded to the Thunder early in the 2016-17 season, but even the world’s biggest optimist wouldn’t have predicted the speed with which Grant developed. Meanwhile, Carmelo was a known scorer who was coming off a long string of semi-efficient 20 PPG seasons. Even the world’s biggest pessimist wouldn’t have predicted the speed with which Carmelo regressed.
That’s all water under the bridge. Now the Thunder have Grant locked up for a while so he can continue developing, and they managed to dump Carmelo on the hawks for Dennis Schroeder, so it kind of worked out for them in the end.