Despite being heralded by Chris Bosh as the best player in Raptors practices, the first three seasons of Joey Graham’s NBA career saw the talented forward unable to transfer that success into actual NBA games. Not only that, but many fans and journalists who followed the team began to wonder if he was regressing.
While his rookie season showed a ton of promise as he averaged 6.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per game, his numbers slowly dwindled over the following two seasons and he averaged career lows last season in points (3.6), rebounds (1.8) and minutes (8.7) last season.
This isn’t the kind of career trajectory that any NBA player wants, especially one about to become a free agent after this season.
No player likes to see his coach fired, however, when Sam Mitchell was fired earlier this season it was just what Graham needed to jump-start his NBA career. This year he’s averaging career highs in points (7.8), rebounds (3.8) and minutes (20.3) and is thriving under new head coach Jay Triano.
Graham recently took some time to talk with Hoops Addict about his growth this season, what he learned from Sam Mitchell and how playing for Jay Triano has helped his career.