After missing over a month, Jerami Grant is back. And Grant’s return is surrounded by far more questions than answers. Jerami’s return against the Pelicans comes just over a week before the trade deadline. No name has been floated around in more trade talks than Jerami Grant. Detroit did not expect to have this problem, but it is a good problem to have. When Troy Weaver joined the Pistons front office, he was lacking in assets. He had the shambles of a team that mortgaged some of their future in return for a playoff run. And Weaver went right to work.
One of Troy Weaver’s first moves was bringing in Grant. Weaver brought in the forward from Denver with a promise of a prominent role. Not only would Jerami be able to continue to anchor defensively, Grant would have the ball in his hands. Troy Weaver believed in Grant’s ability to score, and in his first season in Detroit, Grant did just that. He averaged a career high 22.3 points shooting 43% from the field. Grant also shot for 35% from beyond the arc, proving he can score at all three levels. Although his offense wasn’t always on, the growth he showed offensively was a level that others in the league didn’t forsee.
Does Jerami Grant fit the big picture?
Going into this season, there were no plans to move Grant. Jerami was still seen as a centerpiece for the future. However, one can see why trading Grant makes sense. The Pistons have seen improvement from multiple young players this season. With the emergence of Cade Cunningham and the solid play of Saddiq Bey, touches look more and more scarce with Grant in the lineup. Jerami is still the best player on this Pistons team, and they needed him to score. However, after winning more and more games in January, that hasn’t seemed true. Even though Grant comes in and immediately makes the team better, his touches can affect Cade and Saddiq in particular.
In addition, with Grant’s value higher than ever, Detroit could really get a good return. With multiple reports suggesting various teams around the league want Grant’s services, Detroit is in power. And when Troy Weaver has the opportunity to acquire young talent, he has no choice but to listen. This is the time of year where NBA teams grow more desperate to make changes. Whether in Detroit’s position acquiring assets in a rebuild, or teams like the Lakers looking to contend, a lot of action can potentially take place.
An important thing to note, however, is that Jerami Grant won’t be traded to anywhere he doesn’t approve. Weaver and Grant have a great relationship, and the Pistons aren’t necessarily in a position where they want to trade Jerami. If the offer is too good to pass up, of course Weaver will take it, but it will have to be a situation Grant approves of. Whatever team ends up with Grant ends up with reality of a looming pay day. And with the skills Grant possesses, he will command a payday of over $100 million over the life span of the deal. This contract is at the centerpiece of this dilemma.
So should he stay or should he go?
Whether Jerami Grant stays in Detroit or gets traded elsewhere, the Detroit Pistons are in a good position. When the deadline passes, they will either get to keep a talented player, or could get good assets in return. And even though Grant’s role in the future will still be in question, Jerami still can bring a lot to this Pistons team. His elite defensive skills along with his ability to score make Grant a great addition on any team. Especially a great fit when Grant has shown a lot of love to Detroit, through many charitable endeavors. Grant has roots in the Motor City that have grown strong over the past couple of years.
Any answers the Pistons and Grant alike will be searching for, will come on February 10th. Any teams looking to make a deal will have until then before the trade market closes for this season. And even though Grant can be made available again in the summer, the noise will silence for the time being. Jerami Grant will come back as a professional and focus just on playing games. But the NBA fan base and other front offices will be anxious to see where Grant’s home will be come deadline day.