NBA trade sends Jerian Grant to Chicago Bulls

IRISH STEW

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

Former Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant is on the move.

Again.

For the third time in a little less than a year during his short professional basketball career, the former Irish All-American guard has been traded.

Grant is headed to Chicago as part of a five-player trade that sent former league most valuable player of the year and Chicago native Derrick Rose, entering the final year of his contract, to the New York Knicks. The Bulls, who like the Knicks missed the playoffs last season, in return get Grant, veteran guard Jose Calderon and center Robin Lopez.

“Wild,” said Grant’s close friend and former college teammate Pat Connaughton in a text message to the Tribune.

Grant's uncle, Horace, won three NBA championships with the Bulls in the early 1990s.

A first-round pick of Washington in the 2015 NBA Draft (19th overall), Grant was twice traded on draft night. He went from Washington to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to New York, where he was thought to be a perfect fit for the triangle offense favored by Knicks vice president Phil Jackson.

But Grant never got it going in New York, for myriad reasons. His minutes were on a season-long yo-yo under former coach Derek Fisher, who was fired during the year. He struggled to grasp the intricate triangle offense and struggled to generate and make shots.

In 76 games including six starts, Grant averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 16.6 minutes per game. He shot 39.1 percent from the field and 22 percent from 3.

Now he’s headed back to the Midwest after spending the better part of five seasons in South Bend, a place he considers his “second home.”

Playing for the Bulls means Grant will play for second-year coach Fred Hoiberg. Their college paths crossed during the 2013 NCAA tournament at the University of Dayton Arena. Grant scored nine points with five rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes of a 76-58 Irish loss.

Grant has one guaranteed year remaining on his rookie contract that will pay him $1.64 million in 2016-17. The Bulls then hold the option on Grant’s original deal the next two seasons.

The Bulls were thought to be interested in Grant’s former college teammate, guard Demetrius Jackson, with the No. 14 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft. But it looks like the franchise has found their point guard.

Former Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the New York Knicks in a deal involving Derrick Rose.AP File Photo/KATHY WILLENS