The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, and Jerami Grant remains one of the hottest names on the trade market — but that market seems to be cooling. And now, reports indicate that Jerami Grant’s reps have submitted a list of teams to Detroit Pistons brass that Grant would be “interested in going to play for.”
The remarks come via Brian Windhorst of ESPN on his Hoop Collective podcast. There is no indication which teams are on that list. Grant supplying a list of preferred teams is no surprise as it has already been reported that Grant is interested in signing a long-term contract extension this offseason.
We have seen this dance before with several players. A trade of a player entering free agency is contingent on sending that player to a team where both sides are interested in a new deal. Most recently, this happened last trade deadline with Aaron Gordon. The Orlando Magic sent Gordon to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Gary Harris, RJ Hampton and a first-round pick. The following offseason, Gordon signed a four-year, $92 million deal with Denver.
Teams don’t want to give coveted players or draft picks for rentals anymore, so don’t expect Grant to go to a team that doesn’t already have assurances about a new long-term deal.
What teams made Grant’s list of preferred destinations? There is no reporting to any franchise in particular, but previous reports indicate the list might be limited. Rumors surfaced that Grant doesn’t want to go somewhere to be the third or fourth option who camps out on the perimeter. Instead, he wants to go somewhere he can still play a large role in the offense.
That could be a team like Washington where he would slot in as the second option behind Bradley Beal. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report writes that many in the league believe the Wizards are the most likely landing spot for Grant, and also slides in the convenient fact (and salary) that Spencer Dinwiddie could be moved as he hasn’t meshed well with Beal and is struggling in his first season in Washington.
Could a Spencer Dinwiddie reunion really be in the cards? Dinwiddie has played well as a point guard with the ability to play off the ball in Brooklyn, and he could conceivably mesh well with Cade Cunningham in the backcourt.
Dinwiddie has never developed as a reliable 3-point shooter, but he converts at the rim at a better than 60% clip. It should also be noted that Dinwiddie is going to be 29 before the season is over so he doesn’t really fit timeline-wise into a true long-term piece.
What other teams might be included? Portland has been a long-rumored destination, but I don’t see the Blazers or Pistons having much interest in including CJ McCollum in the deal, and that means Grant would be playing to be the third option at best.
The Lakers are another team often mentioned, but it seems like both sides have moved on as a package centered on Talen Horton Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and a 2027 first-round pick just isn’t going to move the needle.
That means it might be time to take a step back and ask how likely it is that Grant gets moved at all. I’m starting to think that it’s more likely than not that Grant remains with the Pistons past the trade deadline.
If you asked me a week ago, I would have said all signs point to him moving on from Detroit. It’s not that much has changed in the landscape, it’s simply that finding a deal that works for everyone involved — Troy Weaver, Jerami Grant and the trade partner — is incredibly difficult.
It’s also been pretty clear from the outset that Detroit is comfortable with Grant remaining in Detroit. That’s another thing Windhorst touches on in his podcast. “The Pistons are not even sure if they’re going trade him, much less trade him to one of those teams,” Windhorst states.
Does that mean the Pistons are comfortable handing out a contract extension north of $100 million this summer? Or are they more likely to go into next season with Grant a featured player on an expiring contract? We will cross that bridge if and when we come to it.