Thunder exercise Jerami Grant’s team option

Apr 7, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant (9) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the Oklahoma City Thunder decided to pick up Jerami Grant‘s team option, keeping him in Oklahoma City another year.

Had the Thunder declined Grant’s option, that would have allowed him to become a restricted free agent, signing with any team he desires, but leaving Oklahoma City with an opportunity to match.

Grant, 23, was acquired in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova in a trade early on in November with the Philadelphia 76ers. Grant is not the offensive wizard of Ilyasova but his length and defensive mind really set him apart from the ill-forgotten defense of Ilyasova.

With the uncertainty of Andre Roberson in the Thunder’s future, locking down Grant could be the Thunder’s next big move. Roberson is scheduled to be a restricted free agent on July 1. It’s understood that Oklahoma City will match almost any offer given to the defensive juggernaut.

In 78 games with Oklahoma City this year, Grant averaged 5.4 points, a career low, on 37.7 percent from three, a career high. Though his minutes were at an all-time low, as he’s not pulling minutes on a really bad 76ers team, he was efficiency offensively and was sound defensively. His free throw shooting could use some work.

Oklahoma City’s next task will be to sign Russell Westbrook to an extension in a week. Westbrook is the Thunder’s future. Without him, the Thunder might be forced to trade him and start over from scratch.

It is unclear what Grant’s role will be going forward. He lost minutes out in the second half of the season. His minutes went from 21.2 minutes to only 14.3 minutes per game after the All-Star break. Some of that could be due to the addition of Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott in a trade deadline acquisition.

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