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You know when you go to a fast food restaurant, and then you unexpectedly find a gift card in your wallet for said fast food restaurant that doesn’t quite cover the whole meal but still gives you a rush and makes you feel better about your purchase?

That’s what it’s like watching Jerami Grant play basketball for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Grant’s athleticism combined with his 6-foot-9 frame and over seven foot wingspan make him a unique and exciting player full of possibilities. In his second season in Oklahoma City, he has really blossomed into a versatile bench player.

Playing an average 20.3 minutes each game, he’s been a great source for explosiveness and extra buckets. Carmelo Anthony sat out the entire fourth quarter in an overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets last Friday because Grant, who finished the game with 16 points, was doing too well to be taken out.

The lanky forward can play from almost any position, and he always knows how to get to the right spot at the right time. He’s been on the receiving end of a lot of Russell Westbrook dimes and lobs that usually end with a fantastic display of graceful hang time or rim-rocking jams.

“It’s fun to be able to play whatever position coach needs me to,” Grant said back in February. “I think it’s big for the team just to be able to kind of fill in whatever role the team needs you to play.”

Grant is currently averaging more points at 8.2 per game than any other Thunder bench player. Shooting a career high 52.8 percent from the field and being able to knock down the occasional three certainly doesn’t hurt either.

A lot of opposing defenses have a tough time guarding him under the basket because of his length and quickness. He can drive on the baseline and kick it out to the open man or use his magical body control to pull a finger roll out of a hat.

On a team that struggles to find consistency, Grant has been a steady presence lately. He shot 5-of-5 on his way to 12 points in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Easter Sunday.

We also can’t forget how well he played against Houston on Saturday night.

He’s one of those under-the-radar good players who are just so much fun. Let’s be clear though, I use the term “fun” in the sense that he plays basketball in an entertaining way, not that he is a fun person in general. As much as I love him, he seems to always be this emotionless figure with no personality. Seriously, the guy’s interview videos look like he’s being fed lines in a hostage situation.

But who needs personality when you can capture hearts on the court?

Some of Grant’s biggest moments that make fans lean way back in their seats come on the defensive side of the ball. Fast footwork and long arms prove to be effective weapons to take charges and block shots.

He’s averaging 2.2 blocks per 100 possessions this season, and he has a 4.1 block percentage according to Basketball Reference.

There’s just something about watching Grant come out of nowhere on defense to send a shot right into the stratosphere that makes me feel like I could literally climb Mount Everest without any training whatsoever in that moment.

Grant is quickly becoming a staple in Oklahoma City. His two-way impact is not lost on the Thunder and should be important in the playoffs. There are still a few kinks to work out, but at 24 years old, Jerami Grant looks to only be on the rise.

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Autumn Mathews

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