Last Tuesday, the Houston Rockets finalized their 20-man training camp roster by adding five-year veteran Jerian Grant to their thin backcourt depth.
Grant, 28, has bounced around quite a lot during his NBA career. Drafted by the Washington Wizards with the 19th pick in 2015, he was traded on draft night to the New York Knicks, where he spent one season with the team. He was then part of the return package the Chicago Bulls received after trading Derrick Rose to the Knicks.
His two seasons in Chicago were the best of his career statistically, but it wasn’t enough to keep him in the Windy City. In the summer of 2018, Grant was shipped to the Orlando Magic. After one year with the Magic, the team opted to move on from him and he spent last season in the Wizards organization, mostly with its G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go.
Grant is a journeyman point guard looking for a home, and Houston has provided a home to those kind of players in recent years. Ben McLemore, Danuel House Jr., Gerald Green, and the man he could be replacing, Austin Rivers, come to mind. And although Grant signed on as a Rocket, there’s no guarantee he’ll be one when the season begins.
Grant signed a partially-guaranteed deal that netted him $50,000 when he signed and will net him $500,000 if he is still with the team on opening night.
Ultimately, he’s competing for a roster spot against Chris Clemons, the second-year guard whose contract does not become fully guaranteed until February 27. The team has more wiggle room with keeping Clemons, so Grant has some work to do if he wants to make the team.
If he does make the team though, the Rockets will have a decent distributor off the bench who needs some work on his three-point game. He likely won’t play huge minutes, as the Rockets might prefer to play the younger Clemons or rookie Mason Jones, but he can be a nice veteran piece to help mold some of the younger guys on the team.