Four Trade Destinations For Jerami Grant
By Liam McKeone
The NBA trade deadline is just more than a month away. February 10 marks the final day transactions can be made between teams until the offseason hits. And there is one player who will spark quite a bidding war -- Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons.
There have been numerous reports over the last week that the Pistons have been fielding calls from nearly everybody in the league inquiring after Grant's services, and it's easy to see why. Grant is a big wing who can score and defend. He went from a 3-and-D role in Denver, to a No. 1 option and 20 points-per-game scorer in Detroit in a year's time. He's also on an affordable deal, making $20 million this year and next. Whoever trades for Grant will get a reliable option on both ends of the court under contract for another year on a moveable deal. It's hard to find any player right now who checks all those boxes and isn't already playing for a contender.
Grant may not be 100 percent available, though. He came to Detroit because he likes Pistons general managers Troy Weaver and told The Athletic that helping Weaver build something in the Motor City greatly appealed to him. But Weaver has proven to be a smart GM so far in his tenure and will not turn down a good deal if one is offered. It would be easier to list teams that don't want Grant than do, but here are four possible destinations that make the most sense.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have been one of the teams consistently mentioned in Grant talks and it is obvious why. Los Angeles is disappointing this year and their top-heavy roster hasn't been able to put things together between injuries, COVID and just poor fit. Grant would be another all-in move that would give the starting lineup a boost on both ends of the floor.
The big problem is, the Lakers don't have a ton to offer Detroit. They can give up Talen Horton-Tucker and his intriguing as-of-yet untapped potential but they have no draft picks anytime soon, and have zero other young prospects on the roster. The Pistons aren't going to go for a package centered around Russell Westbrook. They might spring for THT, Kendrick Nunn and filler. Realistically, the only way the Lakers end up with Grant is if a third team is brought into the fold to send more assets Detroit's way. They will try their best to land him regardless.
This is the best scenario for everyone involved, if you ask me. The Bulls' offseason spending spree has worked out far better than anyone could have dreamed. They have a legitimate shot at reaching the Finals this year if things break right. They are, against all odds, in the same tier of contention as the Nets and the Bucks right now. Chicago will likely never get a better shot with this core than they have this year.
Nabbing Grant would be the perfect all-in move. He complements the roster on both ends of the floor and would give them a very versatile and dangerous starting five. A trade package centered around Patrick Williams is the draw for Detroit. Williams is out indefinitely with a wrist injury but the Pistons shouldn't mind seeing as they're playing the long game anyhow. The 21-year-old fits Detroit's timeline better than Chicago's. The Pistons would get a long-term piece to add to their starting lineup of the future and the Bulls would get help right now. It's as good as it gets for everybody involved.
The Mavs have stumbled out of the gates this year and their lack of wing depth around Luka Doncic has reared its ugly head once more. Grant would be a huge benefit for the Dallas superstar, helping alleviate some of the offensive load while taking on the toughest defensive assignment every night. What they could offer Detroit is the bigger question. A straight-up one-for-one swap with Tim Hardaway Jr. works financially, but the Pistons probably don't want to swap Grant for a more expensive, lesser version of the same player who can shoot a little better. Maybe if Dallas threw Jalen Brunson in there as a backup point guard with solid value and a pick (or maybe 2020 first-rounder Josh Green), then a deal could be made.
The Celtics are inexplicably bad some nights and astoundingly good on others. Does acquiring Grant fix that problem? Absolutely not. But he would be a reliable third wheel for the Jayson Tatum/Jaylen Brown combination and the kind of consistent secondary option Boston is missing. The Celtics have all their picks to work with and a big contract in Al Horford to send out. Maybe a package of a 2022 first-rounder with Aaron Nesmith or Romeo Langford along with Horford for Grant and filler would do the trick. It is likely not the best deal the Pistons could find, but it's a decent return, all things considered. Detroit could squeeze Boston for more depending on how desperate they are in a month.