The Detroit Pistons opted to hold onto Jerami Grant past the NBA Trade Deadline. And while that may be viewed by many fans as a huge disappointment, holding onto Grant was the best course of action for the franchise today.
For starters, just because you think there are deals for him that you dreamed up in your head, doesn’t mean that those deals are actually out there. I am sure the Pistons were offered something of value at a few different points, but if that something is just contract filler and middling prospects or a low pick is it really that big of a miss to hold onto Grant?
The offseason exists, and many times the offseason is an easier time to trade players on larger contracts because teams have a bit more flexibility. Yes, Grant will be on the final year of his deal when the offseason comes. He is also supposedly asking for a $100 million plus extension on his next deal, but teams are already aware of that, so does it really make that big of a difference? If you are surrendering valuable assets for Grant, you likely also have long-term plans for him on your team.
Yes, there are rumors that Grant prefers to have a large role on his team’s offense but who doesn’t want that? Grant has proven that he can fit in on both offense and defense into most contender’s lineups. If a good team wants him, investing money in him long term would not be a huge risk when the acquiring team knows what they would be getting.
Plus, there is the whole issue of the draft. The draft class this year is top heavy with three big guys projected to be the top 3 picks. Outside of those 3, there are a lot of wings. Why trade Grant when you don’t know for sure you are getting a top-3 pick? If you end up at four or five in the draft due to poor lottery luck (a likely scenario for the Pistons), you are likely picking a wing and will need somebody to start at Power Forward. And while ideally that starter is a younger player than Grant, you aren’t able to find somebody that can provide the same production by just waiving a magical wand.
Maybe Miles Bridges or one of the many intriguing restricted free agents on the market will want to come to Detroit and having Grant easily allows you to work out a sign-and-trade with Charlotte. Or maybe a team strikes out in free agency and wants to go all in on a Grant trade to provide a bigger boost to their lineup. The point is, there are a lot of options and trading Grant for any package for the sake of trading him is a great way to keep your team at the bottom of the standings.
It is a bad look for business and player relationships when that player has a good relationship with the GM and chose to sign here because of that relationship and you trade them in a subpar deal just to say you weren’t afraid to make a move. Treating players well sends a message to the league and makes players want to play for your franchise. Unless Grant is fully on board and wanting to go to a contending team, you should do right by the player and have a discussion in the offseason if you are opting to go in a different direction and not offer an extension.
If you are worried about Grant stealing minutes and touches from young players down the stretch or are worried that his presence in the offense has a negative effect on other players, there is the possibility that he won’t even be playing down the stretch just like last season. Say what you want about Grant, but the Pistons are a better team with him in the lineup. So if they are trying to secure draft position down the stretch, they may opt to rest him judiciously. And even if they don’t, it is not like they have been world beaters since he returned to the lineup. The Pistons are a bad team regardless, but that doesn’t mean he is not a good player.
Executing a big trade at the deadline is always exciting, but if you don’t execute a trade because you have a high asking price on a player that will still be under contract next season, you really are not missing any opportunities. The Pistons made the right call by not forcing a Jerami Grant trade just to force one.
What are your thoughts? Should the Pistons have taken whatever deal they could get or stand pat and see what the offseason has in store?