Hornets NBA

2020-21 Player Preview: Grant Riller

Grant Riller, 6’3, 190 pounds, G

Grant Riller was drafted by the Hornets with the 56th overall pick in the draft. This was a major fall as most reputable NBA draft sites had him going higher. Some draft boards even had Riller as a potential lottery talent. It seems like the Hornets got a potential steal. Let’s dive into his game and see how he fits with the Hornets today and in the future.

Grant Riller was one of the best scorers in college basketball last year, averaging 21.9 points a game on 61% true shooting. Riller can score the ball in a variety ways because of his blend of burst, strength, balance, and ball-handling ability. Riller was at his best as pick and roll scorer, ranking in the 97th percentile as a P&R ball-handler per synergy. Riller also did damage in isolation (84th percentile) and as a spot up shooter (96th percentile).

Riller really shines with his ability to put pressure at the rim. In the half court, Riller put up 71 shots at the rim this year and converted on 41 of them (63.4%) which ranks in the 88th percentile. Especially at his size, this is incredible. The numbers make sense when you see plays like these:

Riller shows his pick and roll craft here. He gives the defender a tough in and out dribble and is able to use his strength to finish over the big.

Beautiful work here from Riller on with the euro step finish around the big.

Another terrific in and out dribble from Riller here and he accelerates to the rim for a beautiful finish.

The guy is a special scorer off the dribble. His bag is deep. Passing isn’t his strong suit but he is able to make basic reads and because of his scoring, those reads are easier with the attention he draws. His defense wasn’t great in college but the hope is that it can be salvageable as his usage goes down in the NBA.

For the Hornets, Grant Riller brings rim attacking that they desperately need. Malik Monk was the only player on that roster capable of putting pressure on the rim this past year. Riller’s spot up shooting is also a good sign for him as this will allow him to play with the multiple ball-handlers that the Hornets currently employ.

It would be interesting to see a LaMelo Ball-Riller backcourt (at least offensively) because Ball’s elite passing ability can cover up for Riller’s shortcomings as a passer and Riller’s rim pressure should help Ball as he currently isn’t adept at it. Because of the current guard rotation though, I don’t see many minutes for Riller at least this year. Ball, Devonte’ Graham, and Terry Rozier’s spots in the rotation are pretty solidified. Cody Martin plays at the two in some lineups. Monk is in a contract year so I’m sure the Hornets will give him a lot of run to see if they want to offer a second contract to him. Riller most likely won’t play a lot this year but if he does, get ready to see a guy who can really fill it up.

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