If you ever want to learn to hate the NBA trade season, all you need to do is pitch a dumb premise like “I’m going to come up with a Jerami Grant trade for each team in the NBA” and it’ll do the trick.
Jerami Grant is one of the hottest names on the NBA trade rumor mill, after all. So you’d think there would be endless possibilities in building trades featuring a player making a modest $20 million and with his kind of talents. Here is the problem — contending teams are often extremely top heavy and have players who make either $40 million or make the minimum. That means it’s hard to make trades that don’t involve 12 players.
Another issue, not everyone actually needs Grant, or they would and aren’t in a position to give the Pistons what they need — young players and picks.
However, if reports are to be believed, more than a dozen teams call about Grant regularly trying to pry him away from the Pistons. The Pistons are so awful this season, it seems like they are finally ready to listen.
In an effort at thoroughness (thorough insanity, I suppose), I took a look at hypothetical trades involving every other team in the NBA. Look, the following might not be a good thought exercise, but it is a completed thought exercise.
I did my best to make every trade legal by checking it against various trade checkers and news sources and use legitimate costs, roster spot and future draft compensation constraints. It took … well, way too long. In some, the question “who says no?” is probably both teams, sometimes Detroit and sometimes their trade partner.
By looking at how bad some of these trades are, you will either be instantly motivated to build a better version and make your brilliance known in the comments, or you will quickly see just how often dealing a player to various teams is a non-starter.
I’ve also invited fake trade connoisseur ScottFL to take a look at each trade and add his immediate thoughts. He is the master of ceremonies during the Ron Marshall Memorial Mock Draft every season, and he does not subscribe to group think.
Let’s dive into each of the 29 other NBA teams plus 1 bonus trade to see what we might be able to get for Jerami Grant.
Hawks receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Cam Reddish, Onyeka Okongwu and Delon Wright
Source: Modified from Bleacher Report
Detroit gets a pair of first-round talents, with Okongwu representing one of the league’s most undervalued assets. The No. 6 pick in 2020 is still just 20 years old and has been prevented by injury from showing what he can do as a mobile 5. The rebuilding Pistons are getting two players with star upside on rookie deals, plus Wright in a second stint with the team as salary filler. That’s a fair return for Grant, who’s too old to feature in any long-term plans and who is probably too capable of helping the Pistons win games.
I stole this one from Bleacher Report, and as a big-time Okongwu guy and with a tinge of Evan Mobley FOMO, I figure let’s get a potential center of the future from a team more interested in winning now. Okongwu has been bitten by the injury bug so his price is low-ish, and if it works it could be a home run. Cam Reddish adds wing depth.
SCOTT SAYS: How many 6-8 centers does one team need? This is one of the more interesting teams just because they have so many real players; could I get Reddish AND Hunter if I throw in some more stuff, and take back Gallinari’s longer contract instead of Delon’s expiring?
Celtics receive: Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes
Pistons receive: Jaylen Brown, Aaron Nesmith, Bruno Fernando
Source: Modified from Piston Powered
Jaylen Brown would pair nicely with Cade in the backcourt, and Killian Hayes would move to the bench. Both Brown and Cunningham are oversized and defensive-minded, so they would be quite the duo. Brown brings some shooting and scoring that the Pistons desperately need. Brown has three seasons left under contract before he can be moved elsewhere, so the Pistons would have time to convince him to stay.
If the Pistons want to go all-in on a major piece then now is the time to get a player like Brown. The Pistons also reportedly liked Nesmith in the draft so he adds another young player to help replace some of the lost youth. Draft capital might have to go from Detroit to Boston in this deal, but the Pistons aren’t really in a position to trade a future first so we’ll just imagine it as an endless amount of funny-money seconds.
SCOTT SAYS: Celts hang up, politely, but still.
Nets receive: Jerami Grant, Josh Jackson, Luka Garza
Pistons receive: Joe Harris, Day’Ron Sharpe, Nic Claxton (reroute Harris for a scrub player and pick)
Source: Modified from ScottFL
Scott pitched this one already, so I know he’ll at least approve his own idea (unless he’s changed his mind. Really, it’s all about getting a couple young pieces with a chance and a vet who could rehab his value and be rerouted eventually.
SCOTT SAYS: I actually like all of these guys; you might even keep Harris, and finally have someone who can convert all those Cade potential assists into actual assists.
Hornets receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: PJ Washington, Kelly Oubre Jr., 1st round pick
When thinking about Jerami Grant deals, the primary motivator for the Pistons would likely be a young piece and a future pick. Well, with Washington you have your young piece, and Charlotte is winning enough where they’d part with a first for an established veteran. Grant also becomes Miles Bridges insurance if Charlotte has cold feet to maxing out the pending FA in the offseason.
SCOTT SAYS: Can I get JT Thor too?
Bulls receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Derrick Jones, Jr., Patrick Williams
The Chicago Bulls have made several moves that signal they are “all in” on this season, and so far they have rewarded their front office and fans with a 17-10 record and several of those signings and trades looking extremely shrewd. So are they ready to double-down on their already big bet? That would be taking on Grant and willing to sacrifice a big piece of the future to do it. Chicago wants to win now and Patrick Williams is out for the season. It’s known that Troy Weaver loved Williams going into the draft so here he finally gets his man. It was also reported the Pistons were high on Jones Jr. as a backup plan in case they couldn’t sign Grant. So this gives Detroit a chance to take a different path in the multiverse.
SCOTT SAYS: I love this one, but y’all knew that.
Cavs receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Lauri Markkanen, 2022 1st round pick, 2022 2nd-round pick (via Spurs)
I would probably argue for more draft capital heading the Pistons’ way here, but we’ll leave it at Cleveland betting on this current iteration of the team and sending one pick of theirs and a surplus second that seems like it’ll land high on the board. They also jettison the highly-paid piece that fits the least in their ultra-big configuration and allows Jerami Grant to join the switchable defender, 3-point-shooting party. Markkanen gets to bomb away from deep in Detroit, and it adds another year for a highly-paid forward to Detroit’s books, but the final year of his deal is only guaranteed at $6 million.
SCOTT SAYS: What am I doing with Lauri Markkanen when I could be asking for Isaac Okoro instead?
Mavericks receive: Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, Frank Jackson
Pistons receive: Jalen Brunson, Kristaps Porzingis, Reggie Bullock, 2022 1st round pick (lottery protected), 2024 1st-round pick (lottery protected)
How desperate are the Mavericks to improve the team’s vibes and rework the roster trying to find the kind of lightning in a bottle that turns them into a Luka-led contender? He’s got two more years after this one at $30 million-plus. He would give the Pistons a legit center and a floor spreading big man. The Pistons also take on Reggie Bullock who has been awful in his first year in Dallas and saves them a big chunk of change. But Bullock has been in Detroit before and been comfortable so it’s reasonable to presume he could turn it around and be a good value. In exchange for taking on all that money, the Pistons get Jalen Brunson and a couple presumably late first-rounders.
SCOTT SAYS: No.
Nuggets receive: Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph
Pistons receive: Will Barton, Zeke Nnaji, 2022 1st-round pick
A Denver reunion for Jerami Grant! It’s tough to work out a deal because the top of Denver’s roster is too valuable or too injured to acquire. The Pistons don’t get much talent back, but they replace $25 million on the books next season assuming Joseph opts in with $17 million and get a first-rounder for their troubles.
SCOTT SAYS: This doesn’t seem like enough, and Barton should probably get re-routed to a playoff team.
Golden State Warriors
Warriors receive: Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey
Pistons receive: James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga (need third team to make it super complicated and for the money to work)
The Warriors are so top-heavy salary-wise that it’s pretty much impossible to create a deal. The premise here is to take on the big man Wiseman lottery ticket and his $9 million salary and the high upside of Kuminga who is already starting to show some value. The Warriors get two pieces — the steady veteran Grant and the second-year Bey who has the kind of two-way value and 3-point shooting (at least last season) a title contender would be looking for.
SCOTT SAYS: Two centers for two wings, I invite all of y’all to read my mind.
Rockets receive: Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk, Josh Jackson
Pistons receive: John Wall, Alperen Sengun, their own first-round pick back, future first-round pick
Another head-scratcher of a team when trying to build a deal. Here, the Pistons get essentially three first-rounders for taking on the John Wall albatross contract. Olynyk goes back to Houston where he had great success and Grant adds another adult in the room as they build around the other young pieces in Houston. In Sengun, you get a high-upside big man and then a couple protected firsts. Why would Houston do this? They wouldn’t but let’s not let that spoil a good time.
SCOTT SAYS: We have reached the stage where Sean is just openly trolling me with this John Wall suggestion. Can’t say I saw that one coming, that’s on me. The tanking Rockets don’t really have any use for Jerami, and probably wouldn’t want to give up Sengun. OKC actually owns that protected Pistons pick now (via the Sengun trade, and they got a future Wiz first too in that same deal), because of course they do.
Pacers receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Myles Turner, lottery-protected first-round pick
How valuable is Myles Turner? Good question. The Pistons could certainly use a lockdown defensive big man if they were at all interested in improving this season. But they might not actually be interested in that. I’m skeptical Turner’s offensive game would blossom out of Indy, but he at least provides enough shooting to stretch defenses and he’d fix some of the rim protection and rebounding woes in Detroit. The Pistons also get what I presume would be a heavily protected first-round pick here because Grant is simply better than Turner. In Indy, the duo of Grant and Domantas Sabonis seems like it’d fit pretty well and it might allow some things to lock into place for the Pacers.
SCOTT SAYS: I think this makes more sense for the Pacers than for the Pistons (because I refuse to believe that the Pacers are blowing it up), so maybe it’s a good and sensible idea for both sides. Stewart and Olynyk both coming off the bench kind of makes sense, I think?
Los Angeles Clippers
Clippers receive: Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph
Pistons receive: Luke Kennard, Jason Preston, Serge Ibaka, 2022 2nd pick, 2023 2nd pick, 2024 2nd pick, 2025 2nd pick (via Detroit)
A Luke Kennard reunion! Actual reliable 3-point shooting! The Pistons take a flyer on a rookie who used to write for a Pistons blog (wrong blog though, Jason)! The Pistons get a (washed) big man to actually play center minutes! They cut Joseph’s $5 million obligation for next season off their books! They get four seconds for taking on Kennard just like the Clippers did! These are all good things.
SCOTT SAYS: Four (4) second round picks? Still no.
Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, 2025 1st round pick
Another team where it’s pretty impossible to build a trade that works under the CBA. The Lakers are reportedly actually interested in Grant so I wish I could tell you any feasible deal that could actually work. As a THT skeptic, this isn’t enough. But it’s all I’ve got for you.
SCOTT SAYS: Lakers fans are ridiculous, and can go pound sand.
Grizzlies receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Kyle Anderson, Brandon Clarke, Ziaire Williams, 2022 1st round pick (Top-10 protected)
Source: Laz Jackson
The Pistons need some athletes and Laz pitched a deal that brought a couple players with juice to spare and then also the complete opposite of that. Also a first-round pick, which will probably not be too good because the Grizzlies are for real. But Clarke was great for a season before he fell off the map and Williams is basically another lottery ticket. Do you feel lucky one of these assets will hit?
SCOTT SAYS: The Grizz traded up for Ziaire and I’m guessing they would not include him in this senaio, but there are a lot of other conceivable options on this team.
Heat receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Duncan Robinson, 2024 1st round pick
The Heat want to win a championship and Duncan Robinson forgot how to reliably hit 3s after signing his huge new deal. The Pistons would be gambling that Robinson remembers how to be one of the most dangerous shooters in the league and either takes advantage of it for their own benefit or flips him to a contender eventually. They also get a first-round pick because Robinson is v. expensive.
SCOTT SAYS: See Harris, Joe.
Bucks receive: Jerami Grant, Trey Lyles
Pistons receive: Brook Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo, 2022 1st round pick
Lopez is injured and DiVencenzo is on the verge of coming back but the Bucks haven’t really missed a beat with Grayson Allen taking the typical DD minutes. The Pistons could reroute or release Lopez to sign with a contender, tak on Donte as he’s ready to sign an extension soon and get a low first-round pick to add another young prospect.
SCOTT SAYS: Not enough, and they don’t have more.
Timberwolves receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Taurean Prince, Jake Layman, 2022 1st round pick (top 10 protected) 2024 1st round pick
I hate most potential Timberwolves deals, but the Minnesota power brokers want to win so maybe they’d be willing to sacrifice a few upcoming firsts in exchange for Grant. There is always a chance the Wolves implode and those picks end up being pretty damn good.
SCOTT SAYS: Two unprotected firsts from the Wolves? Yes. Always yes.
New Orleans Pelicans
Pelicans receive: Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph,
Pistons receive: Jaxson Hayes, Kira Lewis Jr., Tomas Satoransky, 2023 1st round pick, 2023 1st round pick (via Lakers)
Are the Pelicans so desperate to placate Zion they will shuffle the deck chairs and trade a chunk of the future for some certainty and competency now? If so, Jerami Grant is a good target as he can share the floor with Zion as the 3 and 4 depending on how often they want Williamson to play center. They also get a decent if frustrating backup point guard in Joseph. In exchange they toss off an unused part of their present (Hayes), an injured part of their present (Lewis) and a couple picks.
SCOTT SAYS: I want all of the 2023 picks, it is true, but why are the Pellies doing this?
New York Knicks
Knicks receive: Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, Rodney McGruder
Pistons receive: Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, Kemba Walker, Quentin Grimes, 2023 1st round pick
Do you think Obi Toppin is a center? Do you believe in the Kemba Walker rehabilitation project? Do you like lottery tickets like Kevin Knox? Do you like future first-round picks for teams that might be bad? Then do I have a deal for you! Of course, if you don’t believe in one or all of the above then this deal makes pretty much no sense. So it goes.
SCOTT SAYS: I hate this one more than any of the others.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Thunder receive: Russell Westbrook, 2025 1st-round pick (Lakers)
Lakers receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Aleksej Pokusevski, Derrick Favors, Talen Horton-Tucker, 2023 2nd round (via Chicago), 2023 second round (via Lakers), 2027 1st-round pick (Lakers)
I had to break my own rules about no three-team trades because it’s impossible to come up with a Thunder one without adding a third team. In this cuckoo version, Westbrook returns to OKC to live out his days as a triple-double chucker of no consequence, the Lakers get Grant and sacrifice even more of their future, and the Pistons take a flyer on TH-T while Scott gets his one true prize — Poku.
SCOTT SAYS: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
Magic receive: Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph
Pistons receive: Gary Harris, Mo Bamba
If the Pistons don’t believe that Isaiah Stewart is a starting-caliber big man then they could do worse than take a shot at Mo Bamba, one of many big men in Orlando. I suppose you could swap out Wendell Carter Jr instead. To make the money work, the ghost of Gary Harris returns home to Michigan.
SCOTT SAYS: This has to be a 3-way, because the Magic are tanking just like the Pistons and there is no reason for Jerami to be sentenced to such a fate. Carter can’t be traded yet I don’t think because he just signed an extension, which is all the more reason to target Bamba; I keep hearing he’s good now!
Sixers receive: Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk
Pistons receive: Ben Simmons
Look, you knew there had to be a Ben Simmons trade somewhere. I’m not saying I like it or that I want it. But it was inevitable. At least this version doesn’t see the Pistons losing any draft picks or young players and the money is pretty much a wash. And in Detroit, Simmons starts at power forward and thrives. Yeah, let’s go with that.
SCOTT SAYS: Don’t you dare. Don’t even speak it.
Suns receive: Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart
Pistons receive: DeAndre Ayton, Elfrid Payton, Jalen Smith
The Suns decision not to extend DeAndre Ayton was a head-scratcher, but if they want to punt on big dollar deals for big men then maybe they’d want to swap Ayton for Stewart and deal with that downgrade by also getting Jerami Grant. They could win a title with Stewart and Grant.
SCOTT SAYS: If the Suns are actually serious about winning a title, they don’t do this.
Portland Trail Blazers
Blazers receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Anfernee Simons, Nas Little, Robert Covington, 2022 2nd-round pick, 2024 1st-round pick
The Blazers are a mess, they are desperate, they are floundering, and they have a new person in charge of the front office. This upheaval means either they prevented a bananas trade from happening or are more motivated than ever to make a bananas trade. Portland has reported interest in Grant so a deal could be out there. Would giving up Simons, Little and a couple picks be too rich for their blood?
SCOTT SAYS: I think this is nowhere near enough, and yet Blazers fans don’t want to trade Little for Grant. I should think that they are simply smart enough to know it wouldn’t work.
Kings receive: Jerami Grant, Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Luka Garza
Pistons receive: De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley, Damian Jones
De’Aaron Fox might never be an All-Star, but he’d be an upgrade over what Killian Hayes looks like he is ready to offer over the next two years. The Pistons also get a buy-low look at Bagley, and he joins a team desperate for some athleticism and offensive punch. Let’s roll the dice.
SCOTT SAYS: Absolutely not.
San Antonio Spurs
Spurs receive: Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, Trey Lyles
Pistons receive: Devin Vassell, Thaddeus Young, Zach Collins
The Spurs signed big man Zach Collins to an incentive-laden deal that is not fully guaranteed and have thus far let him heal from his latest season-ending injury. The Pistons can capitalize on that investment by sending Grant to Popovich. The Spurs coach got a good look at Jerami in the Olympics (where he hardly played, to be honest), and increase their competitiveness at the expense of the two-way forward Devin Vassell and the Collins lottery ticket.
SCOTT SAYS: Thad is another guy who would have to be moved to a real team (like Barton), and I don’t think the Spurs would or should give up Vassell when they aren’t any good anyway.
Raptors receive: Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, Josh Jackson
Pistons receive: Pascal Siakam, Yuta Watanabe, Isaac Bonga, 2023 1st round pick
Scottie Barnes makes Pascal Siakam a bit redundant, and while Grant players power forward as well, he also provides a bit of positional versatility and self-creation. For taking on all those Pascal bucks, the Pistons get a low first-round pick.
SCOTT SAYS: This one just confused me, so probably no.
Jazz receive: Jerami Grant
Pistons receive: Bojan Bogdanovic, 2023 1st-round pick, 2025 1st-round pick
The Jazz are desperate to get over the hump and make it to the NBA Finals. Grant is a piece that could make that happen. In exchange they lose a couple future firsts and send over a shooter to Detroit. The Pistons can hope that Bogdanovic’s shooting helps balance the floor and helps all the young players become a little more dangerous and their looks just a little easier, or they could flip him to a better team for more future assets.
SCOTT SAYS: Two firsts is two firsts, but the Jazz owe their next one to the Grizz, so this would actually be 2024 and 2026.
Wizards receive: Jerami Grant, Trey Lyles, Josh Jackson
Pistons receive: Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, 2024 1st-round pick (top-20 protected)
The Wizards are decent and want to be good, and the injured Bryant and the absent Rui happen to play the positions where the Wizards are seeing their most sustained success. That means they are expendable if they could bring back some decent depth in return. Enter Grant and to a lesser extent Jackson and Lyles. Bertans is probably a negative asset so the Pistons also get a protected first in the exchange.
SCOTT SAYS: Bertans is not just “probably a negative asset,” he’s a horrible contract that goes on for way too long. I have no real use for Rui or Bryant; my trade demand would be two unprotected firsts and Kispert along with the Bertans disaster contract. They would probably say no.
Charlotte Hornets (v. 2.0)
Hornets receive: Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey
Pistons receive: Miles Bridges, Kelly Oubre Jr., JT Thor
Since I couldn’t trade the Pistons to themselves, I needed to double dip somewhere to get to 30 teams. Enter the Hornets. If the Pistons want to sign impending RFA Miles Bridges in the offseason, they might as well just ensure they can keep him by trading for him now. The Hornets can’t just cough up talent so they send both Grant and Bey in return. A lot to give up, a lot to receive for both teams.
SCOTT SAYS: You had me at JT Thor.