Former Arizona Wildcats forward Grant Jerrett will never know how high he could have gone in the NBA Draft if he had stayed in school another year or two.
As it is, he was drafted 10 picks into the second round — 40th overall — before the Portland Trailblazers traded his draft rights to the Oklahoma City Thunder for cash.
Jerrett isn’t necessarily considered NBA-ready after spending only one season at Arizona, but he has one marketable skill right now — he’s an outside shooting power forward who can stretch defenses. For mere cash, Jerrett has ample value … if the Thunder can be patient.
“We’re really intrigued,” Oklahoma City general manager Troy Weaver said about Jerrett on the team’s official website.
“He really piqued our interest during the process. The guy can really shoot the ball. He shot 40 percent from three as a big in college, which rarely happens for a 6-foot-10 kid. We like his tools and his skill set. We believe he’s a player that can continue to grow with the program. …
“He has some tremendous tools, length and shooting ability. He has a knack for the ball. He comes up with balls and can block a shot. He’s not scared to mix it up inside.”
Jerrett averaged 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game as a freshman, shooting 40.5 percent from 3-point range (32 of 79).
“What he can do is he can shoot it,” ESPN’s Jay Bilas said on the draft telecast.
“He’s nowhere near as efficient as he needs to be inside that arc. As he gets stronger, he’s going to be a much better rebounder. He’s a guy who if he had stayed in school a little bit longer and developed, he would have been a first-round pick.”
Following the selection of Solomon Hill at No. 23 to the Indiana Pacers, Jerrett was the 65th Arizona player to go in the history of the NBA Draft.
“Although he was part of our program for a short period of time, he demonstrated a multitude of talents as a player,” said UA coach Sean Miller in a statement. “His high skill level, strong work ethic and unique size give him a very bright future in the NBA. I’m excited to watch him continue to develop, and I look forward to watching him reach his vast potential.”
As expected, neither Arizona guard Kevin Parrom nor UA point guard Mark Lyons was among the 60 picks in the draft.
In other ex-Cats news, point guard MoMo Jones, who spent his final two collegiate seasons at Iona, will try to make the Boston Celtics as an undrafted free agent, according to multiple reports.
And guard Jason Terry, who signed a three-year free-agent deal with the Celtics last offseason, is reportedly headed from Boston with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in a blockbuster trade to the Brooklyn Nets.
I do not know where I will be playing professional as of yet but i know the future is bright and i will get paid doing what i love !
— Kevin Parrom (@KevinParrom3) June 28, 2013