Jerami Grant's athleticism and bloodlines were enough to ensure that he would become a mid-first-round pick in the NBA draft. That was the thought.
The 20-year-old out of Syracuse slipped to the 76ers with the 39th overall pick Thursday night.
"With Jerami, we were shocked. I was shocked," said Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie, whose team opens summer-league training camp on Monday. "Even Jerami, I think, was shocked. He anticipated that he would go considerably higher."
The Sixers believe they got a steal in the 6-foot-8, 214-pounder, who played power forward during his two seasons at Syracuse.
Grant has an advantage over most NBA rookies when it comes to seeking advice on being an effective player. And it's not just because he and Sixers point guard Michael Carter-Williams were teammates at Syracuse two seasons ago.
Grant's father, Harvey, played 11 seasons in the NBA. His last stop was with the Sixers in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season. Horace Grant, Harvey's twin, had a 17-year NBA career. The onetime NBA all-star is known for winning three NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls (1991, 1992, 1993) and another with the Los Angeles Lakers (2001).
"I definitely think I can go to them for any situation or they can come to me for any situation they think I need to work on," Grant said of his father and uncle. "I definitely think it's good for me."
One of the best pieces of advice they gave him: "You always have to work hard."
"I always tell him, 'Be the first one there and the last one to leave,' " Harvey Grant said.
Jerami Grant averaged 12.1 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds last season as a sophomore at Syracuse. He started the season as the sixth man. Grant moved into the starting lineup in late December when center Dajuan Coleman suffered a knee injury.
Right now, Grant is known as a spectacular dunker who is a work in progress otherwise on offense. But he can guard several positions on the defensive end.
"It's a great fit for him," Harvey Grant said of his son's being drafted by the defensive-minded Sixers. "He's the type of guy who's going to come in and play with a little chip on his shoulder and get the job done."