Four Potential Trade Packages For Jerami Grant
One of the biggest mysteries regarding the Pistons is what they will do with Jerami Grant. Grant has been the subject of trade talks for a while now and was the subject of trade talks at midseason deadline. Detroit is left to make a decision as his contract will expire at the end of the 2022-23 season. It is unlikely that the Pistons will let Grant walk for nothing. At this point, there are two options. Trade him or re-sign him.
The option to trade Grant seems awfully appealing. The power forward is eligible for a four-year, 122 million dollar extension. He will likely not get the full 122 million. But even if he is willing to sign a deal that is closer to the 100 million dollar mark, the Pistons may prefer to use that money on a bigger-named free agent. Not to mention, the return for Grant will help Pistons’ General Manager Troy Weaver finish the Pistons’ rebuild. If the Pistons finally trade Grant, there will be several teams calling.
Lillard gets another piece in Portland
Portland has been the team linked to Jerami Grant most often. Reports around the league suggest that Damian Lillard wants to team up with Grant. With CJ McCollum out of the picture, Grant would be a solid second option for the Blazers. Plus, his defensive upside would help Portland on the defensive end of the court.
The question with Portland is if they are willing to give the Pistons the seventh pick. If Detroit can get pick seven they will likely take it and run. With picks at five and seven, the Pistons would be in a great position to add more young talent around Cade Cunningham. However, Portland may prefer to keep the pick to help them build for the future. Since the Pelicans made the playoffs, Portland will not have a second first-round pick. This greatly affects their ability to trade for Grant as they now have far less flexibility on draft night. This trade all depends on how eager the Blazers are to add talent around Damian Lillard. If the Blazers are definitive on moving pick seven for a veteran, Detroit will be one of the first teams they call.
The Pelicans go all in
Recently, Bleacher Report put together some potential trades for this offseason. Jerami Grant to the Pelicans was one of the trades they drew up. In this scenario, the Pistons received the eighth pick, Jaxson Hayes, and Devonte’ Graham. This is an interesting trade for the Pistons as Hayes and Graham could both play large roles on a young Pistons team. Hayes would see a larger role on the Pistons as he and Isaiah Stewart would get the majority of the minutes at the five. Graham would be a nice addition to the roster as well. Depending on how the remainder of the offseason plays out, Graham may find himself in a starting role alongside Cunningham.
This trade is difficult to project as it is unclear how much value New Orleans sees in Hayes and Graham. Graham saw his role diminish as Jose Alvarado was getting more playing time. For Hayes, the addition of Jerami Grant would likely eat into his role. With Grant and Brandon Ingram at the forward spots, Zion Williamson would likely see more minutes at the center. Jonas Valenciunas would then be moved to the bench. With Hayes, also on an expiring contract, there is a possibility that he would be off the roster after next season anyway. Most importantly, dumping the salaries of Graham and Hayes would help the Pelicans pay Grant’s 2022-23 salary of 20 million.
What gives this trade hope is that a team like New Orleans will likely be more willing to part with a top ten pick in comparison to a team like Portland. As long as the Pelicans are willing to play Williamson in the center spot this trade will give them a quality defender and an additional offensive piece that may help them make a deeper push in next year’s playoffs.
The Hawks may want a power forward
If the Pistons are unable to pry away a top-10 pick for Jerami Grant they might be willing to settle for a pick later in the first. However, John Collins will add a wrinkle to any trade that sends Grant to Atlanta. Grant can fill the power forward spot if the Hawks end up trading Collins. If Collins stays in Atlanta, Grant will be able to play the three. However, with Collins on the roster, the Hawks may struggle to land Grant due to their current cap-space issues. Overall, the future of Collins greatly affects how this trade plays out.
If the Hawks do attempt a Grant trade they would have to offer the pick 16 and another player. The two most appealing options would be De’Andre Hunter and Kevin Hueter. Both are young players who would play significant roles for Detroit. For Atlanta, Hunter is probably the more appealing option to add to the deal. Hueter has more years of control while Hunter will play on an expiring deal next season. Due to cap restrictions, Atlanta may struggle to retain Hunter for longer than next season anyways. The outlier here would again be Collins. If Collins is traded, the Hawks may attempt to send a player to Detroit that they received in the Collins deal. Once again, the Collins situation will greatly affect the Hawks’ willingness and ability to make this deal.
Sign-and-trade with the Suns
A Jerami Grant trade to the Suns would only occur as part of a Deandre Ayton sign-and-trade. Ayton to the Pistons is another topic of its own but it makes sense for both teams. In short, the Pistons can offer Ayton a maximum-salary contract. This is something the Pistons will consider as he would be a great addition that will give Cunningham a better offensive option on the interior. For the Suns, re-signing Ayton would send them into the luxury tax. Sending the former number one overall pick to Detroit would also keep him away from Western Conference teams like the Trail Blazers, Spurs, or Mavericks. This would be beneficial as the Suns will still be looking to compete in the West.
If the Pistons land Ayton they would likely be more than willing to move Grant. Grant and Ayton at the four and five is an attractive option but the Pistons would run into salary cap issues near the end of those deals. This would affect their ability to extend Cunningham and other young players. Detroit would certainly rather get Ayton without the sign-and-trade. This would allow them to still trade Grant to one of the teams listed above; however, if they like Ayton enough they may not want to take the risk of Phoenix matching a contract offer for Ayton.
Jerami Grant would be a great return for the Suns in comparison to letting Ayton walk for free. The Suns would be in an interesting position after that move. They would probably have to make an additional move as they would still have to extend Grant. That is expected as they would be in dire need of a center. I also would not rule out the possibility of the Suns trading Grant for picks as young players under team control would help ease their cap issues. Then when Chris Paul retires or his contract expires they can add another star next to Devin Booker.