That blazer retool Damien Lillard. Portland earned forward Jerami Grant of the Pistons On Wednesday, he returned a first-round pick of 2025 (over Milwaukee) in return. Portland will also acquire a second-round player, while two more second-rounders will go to Detroit. Grant, 28, averaged 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game for the Pistons last season. He also shot 35.8% of three at 5.4 attempts per game but only played in 47 contests. Let’s rate the deal for each side.
This is essentially a no-brainer for Portland, especially at the expense of a Bucks first all-rounder three years later. Though Grant apparently went to the Pistons to be the team’s No. 1, he likely miscast himself in that role. He will be a very nice addition alongside Lillard. Portland was in desperate need of long, athletic wings alongside Dame, who can also shoot and defend, and Grant is just the ticket. With Josh Hart The Blazers, who also occupy one of the wing spots – and perhaps another veteran who could be acquired in exchange for the No. 7 – should have nice ground balance, which they’ve lacked in recent years. Grant can play both forward positions (while mostly playing the four) and maybe on rare occasions slip into center in super small looks (although he’s not a great rebounder).
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Grant should benefit from playing off Lillard’s ball. He averaged 36.2% on catch-and-shoot threes last season, which is already enough to keep a defense honest, and Dame should give him even better looks going forward. Right now, Grant is only signed until 2023 for nearly $21 million, but following last season’s teardown, the Blazers have the flexibility to sign him on a deal that should both see Grant’s prime and not mess up their cap roster . Grant may not be as exciting as a second star CJ McCollum. Nonetheless, he is a proven player who has managed to outplay a ball-dominating star before. With the Blazers needing some two-way wings and still having room to maneuver for more talent, this deal was a layup.
Grant’s return feels a little overwhelming for Detroit. At the same time, he was on an expiring contract and the Pistons avoided taking back long-term salary with the move. Grant just wasn’t on the same timeline as Cade Cunningham and whoever Detroit ends up picking with the No. 5 in Thursday’s draft. Grant’s move without adding money to the books gives the Pistons a massive boost in cap space, allowing the organization to dip their toes into free hand or allow for more trades that can fill the closet with more picks . It’s a sensible move for Detroit, if not sexy.
Ultimately, the Pistons’ primary concern is ensuring they assemble the right core around a rising star in Cunningham. Grant didn’t make too much sense for that long-term plan, and now Detroit can be a bit more malleable in how it structures its current makeover.
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