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2021 NBA Draft scouting report: Quentin Grimes

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NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Houston at Baylor Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Peachtree Hoops’ annual draft scouting report series is in full swing. With just 10 days to go until the draft, several prospects have already been profiled, and today, we take a dive on Quentin Grimes, a wing prospect out of Houston. For a look at the full list, click here.


Quentin Grimes is an interesting wing prospect who began his career with the Kansas Jayhawks, but spent his final two collegiate seasons with the Houston Cougars. Grimes saw his production increase each season in college, becoming out of Houston’s featured players as a junior. Grimes posted career highs in points, rebounds, steals, three-point percentage and three-point attempts in his junior season. A potential 3-and-D wing at the next level, Grimes has quite a bit to offer standing at 6’5 with a 6’8 wingspan.

It should be noted that Grimes is not new to the draft process. He was actually at the combine in 2019, and when he pulled out of the draft to return to school, Kansas had already given away his scholarship, which resulted in the transfer to Houston.

ESPN currently ranks Grimes as their No. 29 overall prospect, while Sam Vecenie of The Athletic slots the wing a bit lower at No. 49.

Offense

Perhaps most notably, Grimes almost doubled his three-point volume as a junior. After taking around four three-pointers per game in his first two NCAA seasons, he attempted 8.3 three-pointers per game in 2020-21, making over 40% of those looks, which was by far a career high as well. Grimes put his improved shooting touch on display in last month’s NBA Draft Combine:

Shooting is by far Grimes’ biggest asset offensively, though he does possess the size and strength to attack closeouts when necessary. Ideally in the NBA, he will be an off-ball player though, as he has never been particularly efficient inside the arc throughout his NCAA career.

He is an aggressive and confident shot-maker, something that will come in handy when navigating against NBA defenses.

He is, again, a bit reliant on that jumper, however. He didn’t generate a ton of shots at the rim for himself (and wasn’t efficient on the ones he did create) in the AAC, so, projecting towards the next level, he is likely best utilized as a spot-up shooter who can wiggle his way his spot when the defense rotates too aggressively.

Passing is another area where Grimes has shown flashes. He’s a headsy passer, but not someone you want on the ball a ton of the time. He had low assist numbers in NCAA play, as he wasn’t often someone the coaching staff relied on to make plays for others.

Grimes also averaged 1.6 offensive rebounds per game as a junior with Houston, a pretty high number for a wing. While wings are often tasked with getting back on defense in the NBA game as opposed to crashing the glass, it’s a skill he does have. His combination of length and strength make him a tough box-out for leaner guards and wings.

Overall, Grimes is a bit limited in terms of upside on the offensive end. The shooting improvements he has made were essential to his draft stock, but outside of that, he doesn’t project as a big-time offensive weapon in the NBA. He shot just 41% on 2s as a junior, which was barely better than his 40.3% mark from three-point range.

Defense

The ‘D’ part of the 3-and-D equation is massive for Grimes. He was a big part of Houston’s daunting defensive attack, one that carried them all the way to the 2021 Final Four. Often tasked with the opposing team’s best wing, Grimes almost always held his own on the perimeter. He has the size, length and agility to stay in front of his man, and the athleticism to contest their shots.

He does a nice job of defending and contesting shots without fouling, and also pitches in on the glass (4.1 defensive rebounds per game as a junior). His combination of size and quickness projects to be useful at the next level. He should be someone who can switch 1-3 on the wing, and perhaps even take on some smaller 4s in a pinch with his length and rebounding ability.

This end of the floor is going to be so big for Grimes, as he’s likely going to be somewhat limited to spot-up shooting offensively. If he’s able to be of true impact defensively, that could swing him from a lower end rotation player to a highly coveted 3-and-D wing, a la Danny Green.

Fit with Hawks

Grimes is probably not someone worthy of being selected with the Hawks’ first-round selection (No. 20 overall) as better and higher upside options should and likely will be available, but if Atlanta sticks at No. 48 in the second round, or acquires another second-round pick somehow, there are certainly worse options than Grimes. Quality 3-and-D wings are hard to find, and while he’s not of tremendous size like De’Andre Hunter or Cam Reddish, scooping up a 6’5 3-and-D wing with a 6’8 wingspan like Grimes in the late second round or as a Two Way guy does not seem like a bad idea at all.