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Jerami Grant preparing for bigger role with departure of Carmelo Anthony

Jerami Grant, Thunder, Carmelo Anthony

Jerami Grant is set up to flourish with the Oklahoma City Thunder after the departure of Carmelo Anthony paved the way for a potential starting role.

It was only hours into free agency when the Thunder pulled the trigger on a three-year, $27 million deal with Grant — a move that spelled Anthony’s exit from the team.

The Syracuse product didn’t shy away from relishing this opportunity with Melo out of the picture.

“Yeah, definitely. Obviously, we all loved Melo and everything, but the situation is what it is. I’m definitely excited to be able to play extensive minutes and play important minutes on a contender,” Grant told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. “Getting a chance to show what you can do while being part of an organization like this, being part of a team like this, it means a lot. They’ve shown a lot of trust in me by giving me this new contract and [and a bigger role]. Now, I’m just excited and ready for the season to get rolling.”

Grant has been working on his 3-point shooting after showing glimpses of brilliance during the 2016-17 season, when he connected in 37.7 percent of his attempts from deep.

While he’s nowhere near the marksman that Melo has proved to be during his 15-year career, his athleticism and defensive abilities will keep him on the floor, even on nights in which he’s bound to struggle from the floor.

Grant managed to carve a role even with Anthony soaking up most of the starter minutes, and managed to even finish games at power forward, thanks to a solid 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds averaged that is only bound to skyrocket with more minutes available to him.