Clemson men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell was not surprised forward Donte Grantham stuck his toes into the NBA draft waters, and in fact the Clemson coaches encouraged it.
“I think it is really good and to be honest with you, it keeps guys motivated,” Brownell said earlier this week at the Greenville Clemson Club’s Prowl & Growl event at Fluor Field. “He has been highly motivated in April. He has been in the gym more now than he ever has in terms of off-season stuff. It is exciting for him.”
Grantham, who did not get invited to the NBA Combine which will be May 9-14, does have scheduled workouts with three teams, two before the combine and one afterward. As The Clemson Insider reported on Tuesday, the rising senior will work out for New Orleans on May 7 before flying to Boston for a workout on May 8.
He was also asked to work out for the Los Angeles Clippers on May 19. There are three or four other teams who are trying to schedule a workout session with the junior forward as well.
Grantham declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft prior to the April 24th deadline for underclassmen. However, since he has not signed with an agent, he can work out for NBA teams but, he can still return to school for his senior year.
“He is going to work out and kind of get the feel of what that is like,” Brownell said.
Of course former Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame did get invited to the combine, which he participated in last year when he opted for the same experience Grantham is going through now. Brownell says Blossomgame, a two-time All-ACC player, has been working out in Las Vegas as he prepares for the combine.
“He is really excited as he should be,” the Clemson coach said. “It is really a time of uncertainty for a guy in his position. He is going to get more tryouts with individual teams which I think will be really important as well as who is playing in the combine as guys analyze and over analyze a little bit the strengths and weaknesses.
“But he is well prepared having been through it. He is well prepared and hopefully good things happen for him.”
As for Grantham, Brownell and his staff have no idea if he will get a guarantee from any of the teams he is working out for, but a source told TCI earlier this week that it is unlikely he will receive one.
Last year, Grantham averaged 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. With Blossomgame moving on to the professional ranks now that he has exhausted his eligibility, Brownell believes this could be good for Grantham.
“I think Jaron leaving will be better for Donte,” the Clemson coach said. “It will give him a chance to emerge and do more things. As a senior, he is one of those guys that will take more ownership. He is never going to be the scorer that Jaron was. That is not how Donte is wired. He is not a 20-point score or anything like that. However, he is a very good player. He can dribble, pass and shoot. I think he will have a really big senior year.”
Brownell says people don’t realize that Grantham has a better overall skill set than Blossomgame.
“Donte has great size and great ball handling skill set for that level,” he said. “In terms of the physical tools in size and length, he has some advantages over Jaron and people see that. He just needs to continue to develop as a player.”