As expected, Jerami Grant remains with the Detroit Pistons after GM Troy Weaver failed to pull the trigger on a trade hours before the NBA’s trade deadline. In a multi-team trade, Detroit sent away Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles and two second-round picks in exchange for Marvin Bagley III. Acquiring a former high draft pick who struggled to start their career is in line with Weaver’s M.O. However, many Pistons fans expected Weaver and the Pistons to make different a trade.
For months the NBA’s rumor mill linked Jerami Grant to multiple teams around the league. The Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Portland Trailblazers were among the many teams looking to acquire Jerami Grant.
Teams pursuing Grant could not reach Weaver’s valuation
Multiple reports from around the NBA indicated Weaver’s asking price for Jerami Grant was two first-round picks or a first-round pick and a young player. An asking price that most teams pursuing Jerami Grant were hard-pressed to cough up at the time.
The Bulls were reluctant to part ways with Patrick Williams who is their biggest trade asset. Other teams like the Trailblazers do not have the rights to enough first-round picks to send to Detroit. No, Anfernee Simmons was never on the table from Portland. Of course, the Knicks had ample prospects and draft capital to throw at Detroit, but the Knicks are, well, being the Knicks.
No team pursuing Jerami Grant appeared to have the ability to offer an actual realistic trade package that would have satisfied Weaver. At least a week before the deadline, a Jerami Grant trade– which at one point seemed inevitable– appeared impossible unless some team came forward with a godfather-like trade package.
Detroit’s options are open with Jerami Grant heading into the offseason
Jerami Grant may have known he was safe from a trade throughout the entire process.
Jerami Grant on trade deadline: “I talked to (Troy) well before. I knew I was going to be here. I’m a Piston.”
— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) February 11, 2022
It is important to remember Jerami Grant chose Detroit and never requested a trade. He wants to be here. A potential four-year $112 million contract extension this offseason does not hurt his desire to stick with Detroit either.
Extending Grant this offseason is one of two reasonable options for Detroit. The soon-to-be 28-year-old is entering a contract year next season. Signing him up for the next four years is more than plausible. Grant is a good player. Detroit needs good players. Grant is not good enough to be the top-scoring option on a top-tier NBA team, but that is not the role the veteran would play for Detroit once they are ready to turn the corner.
Ideally, Jerami Grant is a number three option on a contending team–preferably a fourth option if we are being honest. That is a role Grant would likely be relegated to once Detroit’s prospects develop. Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and whoever Detroit lands with their high lottery draft pick this offseason are all in line to be top scorers in the coming years. It would be a natural transition as these young players enter their primes for Grant to take a little step back as he begins to age. Any potential Grant extension would result in the power forward being locked up at a high price as he goes into his 30s, and that could be a reason the Pistons look to trade him in the offseason rather than extend him.
By extending Jerami Grant, Weaver would be betting on his star forward to not regress as he ages past 30. A risk that Weaver may choose to avoid, especially since the rest of his roster is not ready to compete at a championship level just yet. There would be no better time for the front office to move Grant than in this upcoming offseason. All it takes is a team like the Bulls to fall short in the playoffs and decide Grant is the missing piece to their roster to land a young player like Patrick Williams– a young player who fits the timeline of Detroit’s rebuild much better than Grant currently does.
There will be a large trade market for Jerami Grant in the offseason. Teams will have more flexibility for roster moves and contenders will be desperate to put themselves over the top. Weaver could very well be flooded with offers that meet his valuation of Grant, potentially more.
The Pistons could pursue either path with Grant this offseason. There is value in acquiring young assets. There is also value in having a really good player on your team. That is what Grant is. Not great, not a perennial All-Star, just really good. By all accounts, he wants to be in Detroit. There is value in that as well.
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