Minutes later, Grant was traded in a pre-planned deal to the New York Knicks. Prior to trading for Grant, New York selected 19-year old Latvian prospect Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth selection overall.
The Knicks were Eastern Conference’s worst team in 2015 at 17-65, bettering only Minnesota (16-66) through the 82-game regular season.
Grant averaged 16.5 points and 6.7 assists last year for the 32-6 Irish, playing more than 37 minutes per game and nearly every second of competitive game action for head coach Mike Brey’s squad.
He finished second behind freshman Jahlil Okafor for the Athletic Coast Conference Player of the Year Award and was tabbed along with Okafor as a cnsensus first-team All-America selection. Okafor was drafted third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers earlier Thursday night.
Grant was named the ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player after the Irish made a dramatic three-game, three-day run through Tobacco Road, defeating eventual national champion Duke in the semi-finals before coming back from a nine point deficit to knock out North Carolina in the championship game.
A closer examination of Grant’s sterling final season in South Bend is highlighted by the following:
- An absurd 2-point field goal percentage for a six-foot-four-inch guard at 57.2 percent
- 15 different games in which he recorded seven or more assists including six of 10 or more.
- 11 different outings in which Grant scored at least 20 points including the ACC Championship victory over North Carolina
- A mere three games in which he committed more than four turnovers and an astounding 26 in which he committed two or fewer, that despite his role as the primary facilitator of half-court offense for an Irish squad that finished seconds short of a Final Four berth.
Grant’s selection at No. 19 highest for a Notre Dame player since power forward Ryan Humphrey was selected at the same spot in the 2002 Draft. Grant’s draft slot ranks as the highest by an Irish backcourt player since fellow Golden Domer John Paxson was selected at No. 19 by the San Antonio Spurs in 1983.