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Report: Pistons open to trading Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant in Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons drives to the basket during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 28, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

How well the Pistons did in signing Jerami Grant to a big contract in 2019 is in the eye of the beholder.

On one hand, Grant proved more adept than expected as a go-to scorer. However, he has not handled being a focal point well enough to lead a quality team. Detroit stunk last season and is an NBA-worst 5-24 this season. Grant (27) is significantly older than the Pistons’ young core: Cade Cunningham (20), Saddiq Bey (22) and Isaiah Stewart (20).

But Grant retains value as a trade asset – both because of his expanded offensive repertoire and the defensive-first role-player style he displayed earlier in his career and could fall back toward.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Jerami Grant is one of the most sought-after players in a potential trade, with the Lakers and Trail Blazers among the teams pursuing the Pistons’ versatile forward, sources said.
Dozens of teams call the Detroit front office about Grant each week, and sources said the team is open to a possible deal.
Interested teams understand Grant will command most of his maximum salary in an extension next summer, a scenario similar to when the Nuggets made the trade for Magic forward Aaron Gordon with a significant interest to complete a subsequent extension when the sides were eligible to negotiate.

When they traded for Aaron Gordon last March, the Nuggets sure looked like they might have had an agreement with him on an extension once he became eligible in the offseason. Gordon then inked the deal in September. Though more common than technically legal, such an arrangement could make sense for Grant.

Grant has one year remaining on his contract after the current season. Next offseason, he’ll become eligible for an extension worth up to:

  • 2023-24: $25,146,000
  • 2024-25: $27,157,680
  • 2025-26: $29,169,360
  • 2026-27: $31,181,040
  • Total: $112,654,080

Maybe Grant won’t command that entire amount, but at least interested teams have an idea of his asking price. And if the salary cap skyrockets, Grant’s extension could age well.

Like with Gordon, Grant could potentially partially pick his destination by (unofficially) agreeing to sign an extension with only certain teams. That could get sorted out before the trade deadline.

Grant will be sidelined several more weeks with a sprained thumb. But he should be able to condition through that injury then hit the ground running upon his return. Any suitor would want him for the postseason, anyway.

As much as the Pistons like Grant, they’re far from the playoffs. He could provide more value to other (better) teams, which makes him ripe for a trade.