Jerami Grant Reportedly Traded to Blazers for 2025 1st-Round Pick, More Pick Swaps | Bleacher Report
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The Detroit Pistons have traded forward Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers for a 2025 first-round pick (via Milwaukee) and other draft assets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Pistons turned heads when they signed Grant to a three-year, $60 million contract. While a solid role player for the Denver Nuggets, many wondered whether he would provide enough on the court to justify a $20 million annual salary.
In general, Detroit had a dreadful 2020 offseason. The team’s moves were panned at the time, and they didn’t look any better as they finished last in the Eastern Conference at 20-52.
However, Grant was one of the franchise’s few sources of excitement. He averaged 22.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 54 appearances.
His production didn’t slip much this past year. He put up 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He missed a long stretch of time due to surgery on his right thumb to repair torn ligaments.
In general, Grant’s efficiency has dipped a bit compared to his pre-Pistons run.
He shot 42.8 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc in 101 games with Detroit. Those numbers were 46.5 and 34.7 percent, respectively, prior to 2019-20. That’s to be expected considering he had a 27.2 percent usage rate with the Pistons compared to 18.4 percent for his career, per Basketball Reference.
James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reported in January 2021 that Grant left the Nuggets in part because he’d be allowed to have a bigger role on the floor. He has undoubtedly shown why he can be more than a secondary piece in the starting rotation or a super-sub off the bench.
That the Pistons are parting ways already says less about Grant and more about the state of the Pistons.
When Troy Weaver took over as general manager, he joined a franchise that just flipped Andre Drummond for pennies on the dollar and had a massive millstone on the payroll in the form of Blake Griffin’s five-year, $171.1 million extension.
For years, the Pistons were stuck on the treadmill of mediocrity. The Drummond trade and the arrival of Weaver were signs that ownership was willing to execute a complete teardown.
Given his age, Grant could have fit into whatever Weaver has planned for the present and future. Whether the Pistons show meaningful improvement over the duration of his contract is another matter.
Detroit did get a boost by selecting Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 pick last summer. Cunningham is a foundational cornerstone, but the franchise’s fortunes didn’t shift overnight. The Pistons were 14th in the Eastern Conference at 23-59.
As much as their bet in Grant has paid off in terms of his individual numbers, he wasn’t doing much to impact their record. Moving him now, when his trade value is likely at its apex, better aligns with Weaver’s long-term blueprint.
To some degree, this trade symbolizes one of the Blazers’ biggest problems during the Damian Lillard era.
In a vacuum, Grant should be an upgrade to Portland’s frontcourt. His arrival is unlikely to significant improve the franchise’s championship odds, though, unless other splashy moves are incoming.
General manager Joe Cronin inherited a difficult situation because the Blazers hit their ceiling under Terry Stotts before he was replaced by Chauncey Billups ahead of last season and didn’t have much in the way of trade assets at their disposal, though they did reshape their roster with a number of deals ahead of the February trade deadline, including shipping C.J. McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Now, however, the Blazers have begun their retooling process around Lillard. Grant is a solid first step, especially since they didn’t give up the No. 7 overall pick this year to get him.