Βy Lefteris Moutis/ email@example.com
For someone to be born in Uruguay and choose to play basketball professionally is something very unusual. Jayson Granger made the big step by leaving Montevideo and travelling to Spain in order to “study” in the school of Estudiantes.
Among the “students” he managed to climb a level in terms of basketball and gradually get himself in the sights of Spain’s biggest teams. In the summer of 2013 Malaga picked him and two years later they can feel more than vindicated for their choice. After the first exploratory year at the top level of the Euroleague, he skyrocketed his numbers showing that he can become a complete combo guard for teams that want to have a leading role. His Italian passport helped him in getting many offers this summer. Malaga tried to keep him, but it was in vain. Barcelona and Real got in on the action for his acquisition but Efes made the difference.
Athletic qualities and comprehensive game
Efes already have Thomas Heurtel on their roster and with Granger’s addition they want to shield the French playmaker with a “defensive destroyer” who competes hard, reads the game and can score when he has to. During the regular season of the Euroleague he had 8,2 points (with 35% in two-point field goals and 25% in three-point field goals) and 4,2 assists per game. By contrast, in the Top 16 the situation was entirely different, having 11,8 points (with 50% in two-point field goals and 37% in three-point field goals) and 4,2 assists.
Granger is in no way the player who will execute from long-range (he has a 31% career high in three pointers in the Spanish championship), but the one who is able to “penetrate” opposing defenses with his drives and his mid-range shooting. He can shoot after a dribble and he usually creates the conditions for a shot himself. Despite his small height (he’s 188 centimeters tall) he has an explosive first step and he can penetrate the opposition’s paint effectively.
He supports Efes’s plan
It’s clear that Granger’s transfer was made by Dušan Ivković in order to replace Draper, a player with similar athletic characteristics who can play alongside Heurtel. Efes’s choice to acquire three players who are known for their athletic qualities (Brown, Dunston, and Granger) points to the kind of basketball the team would like to play next season.
Jayson Granger is just 26 years old and it seems like the best and most mature years of his career are ahead of him. He has what it takes to become the ideal supplement for a team such as Efes next year. Of course he will have to adjust his game and come to terms with the fact that he won’t be shooting as much as he did with Malaga. At any rate, his addition to the finalists of the Turkish championship can offer them elements that they seem to be missing from their perimeter.