Jerian Grant's tour of NBA cities already includes five stops. The latest is easily the most familiar of all and quite possibly where the point guard ultimately ends up during the NBA Draft.
The DeMatha product, Notre Dame star and son of former Bullet/Wizard Harvey Grant participated in the Wizards' first workout session ahead of the June 25th draft. Grant, who co-headlined the session with Utah's Delon Wright, another fifth-year senior point guard, previously worked out for the Pacers, Rockets, Thunder and Suns. Therefore, a fifth opportunity directly in front of an NBA team didn't faze the mature Grant in the least. Neither did the setting. Neither did his father's presence alongside coach Randy Wittman and team president Ernie Grunfeld.
The Grant's, Jerian and Harvey pic.twitter.com/cpWv5rMc5z
— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) June 1, 2015
"I'm home," said Grant, who was raised in the area and spent time on the Verizon Courts growing up. "I walked through these locker rooms and the practice gyms. It brings back memories."
West Virginia guard Juwan Staten, UMass center Cady Lalanne, Stanford center Stefan Nastic and D.C. native Darian Hooker (NYIT) also participated in Monday's workout held on the Verizon Center practice court.
The Wizards own the 19th and 49 overall picks in the 2015 Draft. Grant and Wright, selected first and second team All-Americans respectively by the Associated Press, are both projected as first round selections.
The Washington Bullets selected University of Oklahoma forward Harvey Grant 12th overall in the 1988 draft. The tweener forward spent his first five NBA seasons in Washington, averaging at least 18 points per game over the final three. Traded to Portland in 1993 for center Kevin Duckworth, Grant returned to the organization as part of the Rod Strickland-Rasheed Wallace deal in 1996. He spent two more seasons in Washington, including the organization's first year as the Wizards.
Jerian Grant is one of Harvey's three basketball playing sons, all of whom starred locally as preps at DeMatha. Jerai, the oldest brother, spent his college days at Clemson before playing professionally overseas. Jerami, the youngest of the three, played 65 games as rookie with the Philadelphia 76ers last season.
"It's big for me," Grant said of his exposure to all levels of basketball. "I've studied the game a lot. I've been around the game, especially the NBA game my whole life. Just my knowledge of the game, my basketball IQ, being around the game for so long helped me."
Grant rarely left the court during Notre Dame's 32-6 campaign which culminated with an epic Midwest Region finals loss to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 16.5 points, 6.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals while playing 37 minutes per game.
Wright directed Utah to the round of 16 during the NCAA Tournament, including a win over Georgetown. He averaged 14.5 points, 5.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 36 percent on 3-point attempts.
It might seem odd that the Washington Wizards would consider taking a guard in the first round of the NBA Draft considering the team's strength lies with the John Wall-Bradley Beal backcourt. It probably shouldn't. The Wizards have frontcourt needs, but can go with the best player available, especially if forward Paul Pierce returns.
With Wall's long-term contract, point guard isn't a pressing need. Adding Ramon Sessions at the trading shored up the backup position. However, Sessions' deal ends after the 2015-16 season. He's also more of a scorer than facilitator. Washington used Beal significantly more as a lead guard when Wall missed three games with a fractured hand and wrist during the Eastern Conference semifinals against Atlanta.
The Hawks' use of drive-and-kick point guards Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder either together or in waves kept Wizard defenders on their heels throughout the six-game series.
"I think it would be good fit," Grant said. "Bringing some energy off the bench. Some readiness off the bench. More playmaking. I think I can definitely fit."
At 6-foot-5, Grant and Wright have the size to defend wing guards and play alongside Wall. Grant only shot 32 percent on 3-pointers this season after sinking 41 percent as a junior. He attributed the decline to taking more shots off the dribble rather than being set up with passes on the wing.
"Putting the ball in my hands or having me run of some screens and spotting up, I think I'm equipped to do both," he said.
Grant's sense of the draft board puts him in the 7-20 range. That could mean landing with his hometown team. Some players prefer getting out of town. Grant doesn't see an issue.
"I'm mature. It's not going to bother me too much," he said. "I have a pretty strong base family. It wouldn't be too bad at all for me."