Catching up With NBA Draft Prospect Grant Riller
Grant Riller is a combo-guard out of the College of Charleston who has been projected to be a first-round pick in the upcoming NBA draft. After a senior season where he averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 3.9 APG Riller has caught the eyes of many scouts.
Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with Riller ahead of the NBA draft combine. When discussing this college year Riller had mixed feelings about his final college season getting cut short. He brought up that being at a mid-major school the shortened season didn't give him the best opportunity to showcase his talent against other top college players.
We have seen in the past that spending all four years in college can sometimes hurt a player's draft stock. Riller is not bothered by being a four-year guy and said he thought it was best for himself. He said playing all four years has "given him a big body of work" for scouts and he came back for his senior year to "showcase the rest of his talent."
The main player comparison that Riller has received is Toronto Raptors' guard Fred VanVleet. When I asked him his thoughts on the comparison his first thought was "I took it as an honor." He would then dive into the similarities that he sees in his game and VanVleet's. Saying they are both guards who can score at all three levels, can play well on the outside, and play on and off the ball.
Early mock drafts had the Sixers selecting Riller with the 21st overall pick. When the idea of playing in Philadelphia was brought up, he was humble about the possibility.
I think it would a blessing first and foremost, and secondly, I think it would be a good fit. I can see myself playing with a lot of their personnel now.
He would also go on to say that he could come in and "provide a spark" for the Sixers. Finding bench scoring to replace Alec Burks is something the team needs to address in the draft or offseason.
The Sixers are in a period where they are looking to contend right now, which means they need guys who can come in and contribute on day one. This is something that Riller feels playing four years of college ball has helped him with.
He would then go on to say that spending four years in college has greatly helped his maturity. Stating that he can be "mature and have no ego day one" is something that is big for him and is something he's hanging his hat on.
When asked about the possibility of getting to play with players like Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, Riller seemed open and excited.
I think I could complement those guys well. The way they play kind of feeds me as well so overall that's why I think it's a good fit.
We then dove into his game and things he wants to focus on bringing to an NBA team on day one. Some of the things he mentioned were "playing the right way and making the right play." Other were working well in the pick-and-roll, and creating for himself and his teammates.
Since the college season has ended, Riller said one thing he has done is "improve [his] jumpshot as a whole." He has spent time working on his jumper in all situations from catching and shooting, shooting off the dribble, shooting out of the pick-and-roll, and shooting off dribble hand-offs. Riller also mentioned as he spent a good amount of time keeping himself in top physical shape.
Grant Riller has been a prospect that floated all up and down draft boards since the end of the college season. If the Sixers can walk away with him on draft night, it should be considered a win.
Kevin McCormick is the 76ers insider for 97.3 ESPN and 76ers editor for Sportstalkphilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMcC973.