NBA Draft 2021 Profile: Quentin Grimes intrigues with 3&D skillset

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer
@EricSpyrosNBA

With each passing day, we are getting closer and closer to the 2021 NBA Draft, a night in which lives will change and NBA teams will add exciting young prospects to their rosters in hopes of one day landing in the same spot that the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns found themselves in this year, the NBA Finals.

Here at Nuggets.com, we are continuing our series of draft profiles with a look at Quentin Grimes, the guard out of the University of Houston. After a freshman season at Kansas, Grimes transferred to Houston for the next two seasons and enters the draft coming off a breakout 2020-21 campaign.

Given Jamal Murray’s injury and the importance of having quality two-way players in the backcourt, the Nuggets should be intrigued by Grimes, who at 21 years old projects to be a bit more NBA ready right off the bat.

Background info

Age: 21

School: University of Houston

Grade: Junior

Position: Guard

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 205 pounds

2020-21 Stats:

17.8 PPG

5.7 RPG

2.0 APG

40.6 FG%

40.3 3P%

32.8 MPG

Profile

Grimes’ 2020-21 season was incredibly impressive as a shooter and defender, two skills that you can never have enough of on an NBA roster.

Grimes has the potential to be a very devastating player on both ends of the floor in the NBA, as he showcased his ability to defend one-on-one in the perimeter on one end of the floor while averaging nearly 18 points per game on elite 3-point shooting on the other end.

On the defensive end, Grimes has good size and length (with a 6-foot-8 wingspan) to effectively guard multiple positions on the perimeter. The 21-year-old averaged 1.4 steals per game last season and forced a lot of turnovers due to his active hands and anticipation. Grimes also excelled at contesting jump shots and closing out on shooters. Given his size and what he showcased in college, look for Grimes to be a positive impact defender on the perimeter in the NBA, a crucial skill for teams to have in their rotation.

“Playing for Coach (Kelvin) Sampson, he demands 110 percent effort no matter what,” Grimes told Nuggets.com following a pre-draft workout last week. “(Defense) is something I hang my hat on and pride myself on being one of the best defenders in the draft.”

On the offensive end, Grimes projects to be more of an off-ball player that can handle the ball a bit to create shots for himself. After a season in which he shot 40.3 percent on 8.3 3-point attempts per game last season, Grimes should intrigue teams with his deep shot-making ability. The 21-year-old was one of just three players in Division I to hit at least 100 3-pointers last season.

“I feel like shooting the ball is my biggest strength,” Grimes said. “From all facets of the court, on the ball, catch-and-shoot, I feel like shooting and defense are what I hang my hat on.”

Grimes struggled inside the arc (he shot 41 percent on 2-point field goal attempts), likely highlighting the need for Grimes to be more of an off-ball player that focuses on hitting catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts or generating his own looks from beyond the arc if the offense stalls.

Given the importance placed on “3&D” skillsets in the modern NBA, Grimes should appeal to most teams at the Draft with his ability to defend and hit consistently from beyond the arc. For a Nuggets team that can benefit from additional 3-point shooting, floor spacing, and wing/perimeter defense, Grimes could be an ideal fit in the Mile High City.

What they’re saying

“Grimes improved his stock dramatically in Chicago, looking like the best player on the floor during both scrimmages. Aside from his lights-out shooting, his feel for the game and IQ also popped and helped make it easy for a team to picture an early contributor.” – Bleacher Report

“Enter Grimes, one of the best shooters in the college game, who showed a lot more versatility as a passer than he had previously gotten credit for in what was an outstanding week of play at the NBA combine. Grimes looks physically ready to help a team after playing a major role taking one of the best defensive teams in college basketball to the NCAA Final Four.” - ESPN

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