Asked one strength he can provide for an NBA team, Quentin Grimes went straight for the letter S.
“Shooting,” he said at June’s NBA combine. “I feel like I’m one of the best shooters in this draft class. I trust my work I put in my jump shot.
“I feel like from Day 1, I could be a shooter coming into any NBA franchise.”
Grimes’ presence would benefit the 76ers, a team that likes to surround their core players with long-range shooters.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pounder averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists this season. The American Athletic Conference co-player of the year shot 40.3% on three-pointers.
Grimes will tell you that his college experience has prepared him for the NBA.
The Houston native was a McDonald’s All American and 2018 Texas Mr. Basketball at The Woodlands College Park High School. He was also regarded as the nation’s eighth-best college prospect in the Class of 2018 by both Rivals and ESPN scouting services.
Grimes signed with Kansas and planned to play in the NBA following his freshman season with the Jayhawks. Initially, that appeared to be a no-brainer, as he made six three-pointers en route to scoring 21 points against Michigan State in his first college game on Nov. 6, 2018.
However, he went on to average 8.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting 38.4% from the field, including 34% on three-pointers that season. After declaring for the 2019 draft, he withdrew his name before the deadline and transferred to Houston.
Grimes averaged 12.1 points but only made 32.6% on his three-pointers during the 2019-20 season with the Cougars. This year, however, he showed he could be a solid NBA three-and-D player.
Grimes played a key role on one of the best defensive teams in college basketball. He did a good job of closing out on pull-up shooters and cutting off drives to the basket. The thought is that he’ll be able to defend point guards, shooting guards and small forwards in the NBA.
“I feel like I went to the right situation with [Houston] coach [Kelvin] Sampson,” Grimes said. “He prepares you for life. He’s a super tough coach on you. He’s going to hold you accountable every day ...
“Coming in with that mindset every day to come in here and play as hard as I can, it really kind of lets you be able to play freely and play your game.”
Grimes added that NBA teams have been impressed by his resiliency. They respect the way he battled back and lived up to the high school hype after a his lone season at Kansas and a disappointing sophomore campaign at Houston.
“They love how I was able to bounce back,” Grimes said, “and make a name for myself again.”