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2021 NBA Draft Profile: Quentin Grimes potential fit in Denver is intriguing

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Could the Nuggets target a three and D wing like Grimes?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Oregon State at Houston Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Quentin Grimes is a former 5-star recruit out of College Park High School in Texas. Although he primary played point guard prior to college, Grimes has developed into a lethal shooter that is much more of a scoring guard, or even wing, than someone that will be given the keys to run an offense predicated on involving everyone. This isn’t to say Quentin is strictly a spot-up shooter without any ability to attack off the dribble, but his skillset currently predicates that he would be better in a secondary playmaker role.

Grimes’ lone season as a Jayhawk was a bit of a disappointment. In over 27 minutes per game he only averaged 8.4 points on an uninspiring 48.2 effective field goal percentage. He decided to transfer to Houston after his freshman year and this was likely for the best. During his second and final season with the Cougars, Quentin established himself as their go-to scoring option. He finished 2020-2021 tied for second in all of Division 1 NCAA men’s basketball with 100 made threes and averaged nearly 18 points per contest. If he stuck around in Kansas, it seems less likely that Grimes would have been given the same opportunity to showcase his talent that led him to winning AAC player of the year honors this past season.

Quentin Grimes, Guard/Wing, Houston

Vitals

Height: 6’5”

Wingspan: 6’8”

Weight: 205

Age: 21 (5/8/2000)


Career Per Game Statistics

Season School Conf. MP PTS FG% 3P% FT% AST TRB STL BLK TOV
Season School Conf. MP PTS FG% 3P% FT% AST TRB STL BLK TOV
2018-19 Illinois Big Ten 31.3 13.8 0.435 0.352 0.695 3.3 4 1.3 0.3 2.3
2019-20 Illinois Big Ten 33.5 16.6 0.484 0.296 0.755 3.3 4.3 0.8 0.2 2.7
2020-21 Illinois Big Ten 35.1 20.1 0.488 0.39 0.783 5.3 6.3 1.1 0.2 3.3
Career Illinois Big Ten 33.2 16.7 0.47 0.345 0.75 3.9 4.8 1.1 0.2 2.7

Strengths

Three Point Shooting

As I mentioned earlier, Grimes attempted and made threes at an elite rate last season. This combination of high volume and efficiency from beyond the arc puts Quentin into premier three point shooting territory. This wasn’t always the case though, he had to grind to become such a shooting threat. Grimes only converted on 33% of his three point shots in his freshman and sophomore seasons. A simultaneous rise in his free throw shooting strengthens Grimes case that his shooting improvement was legitimate.

He has a bit of a rhythm dip, but his shooting motion is fluid and repeatable. As Houston’s primary scoring option his junior year, Grimes was often tasked with creating his own shot. He displayed range from far behind the three point line, as well as being able to convert with a hand in his face. Quentin was more efficient as a spot up shooter and he should see a greater amount of these opportunities than self created ones in the NBA.

Defense

Grimes’ combination of strength, size, and athleticism give him potential to be a switchable defender across the perimeter that wouldn’t be easily abused in the paint either. His defensive ability shines brightest in his controlled closeouts and effective contests. His on ball defense is certainly ahead of his team defense, but not enough for it to be much of a factor is his overall effectiveness on that end. Perhaps most importantly, Quentin Grimes is more than willing to put in the effort required on defense.

Rebounding

Yet another area Quentin improved in throughout his collegiate career was corralling boards. Offensive or defensive, Grimes’ learned to better time his jumps to high point the ball and the results showed up in the box score. On a per minute basis, he nearly doubled his rebounding totals from his Freshman to his Junior season and has become much more aggressive attacking the glass. Simply put, there aren’t that many wings that will outright win the battle of the boards with Quentin.


Improvement Areas

Playmaking

In his best season as a distributer, Grime’s had 7 more total assists than turnovers. Part of this is him playing the role he’s being asked to, but this doesn’t mean there’s not room to improve as both a ball handler and passer. As a pick and roll ball handler, Grimes was much more likely to attempt a shot than complete a pass. This score first mentality isn’t necessarily an issue, but given his below average overall efficiency, it would make him a more complete player if he can tighten his handle and work on his passing acumen. Quentin was already flashing improvement in these areas in the NBA Draft combine scrimmages. As former high school point guard, there’s certainly some untapped potential here. Even if he can’t develop much more in this regard, Quentin has a ready made role as a two-way wing that is willing and able to shoot from beyond the arc.

Mid-range Scoring

Grimes actually converted on mid range pull-up and step back jumpers from beyond 15 feet at a decent rate his sophomore year. He wasn’t quite as effective his other two seasons, but was still better at converting those than when he put up a shot from inside 15 feet. This does not include shots at the rim and is often referred to as floater range. Quentin went just 6-30 on pull-ups in this area and 3-11 on floaters this past season. If he wants to be more than a “three and D” role player, it will be crucial for Quentin to become comfortable shooting from this range.


Expected Outcome

Projected Draft Range: Late 1st round - Early 2nd round

Denver Stiffs Big Board: 28th overall

NBA Comparison: Gary Trent Jr./Donte Divincenzo


Verdict

Quentin Grimes has been one of the biggest draft board risers throughout the pre-draft process, transitioning from a projected mid second rounder to a potential first round prospect. This is no small part due to his stellar performance at the NBA Draft Combine. He is expected to be selected in the Nuggets current range and makes a lot sense as a “three and D” wing with upside to be more.

He has no conscious when letting it fly from deep, a trait that could be much needed for Denver’s bench and maybe eventually with Jamal, Porter, and Jokic. Perhaps more important to his fit with the Nuggets than his shooting, however, is his potential to be multi-positional plus defender at the next level. I believe there is a decent chance Quentin will be the top player still available on Tim Connelly and the rest of Denver’s front office’s board if the Nuggets do indeed keep the 26th overall selection.


Highlights

Poll

How would you feel if the Nuggets drafted Quentin Grimes

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Incredible - Exactly what the team needs
    (45 votes)
  • 50%
    Good - Solid value at 26th overall
    (74 votes)
  • 17%
    Fine - There will probably be better players available
    (26 votes)
  • 0%
    Bad - Not a fan of Grime’s game
    (1 vote)
146 votes total Vote Now