An article written here about Hamidoh Diallo made me think a lot more about how the pieces come together as we get to 2022-2023. I like Ham and think he would be a good piece of the puzzle. I wrote this as a response to the article:
Ham is a solid 2 in my world. I like him a lot. Whether he is a starter or back-up depends on our options. It's likely that we will draft one of the top 3 players in next years' draft and that means we will be adding a 4. Will we trade Grant to create room and perhaps get another one or two first round picks? We likely would need the room on the roster and he is at an age that doesn't match-up with the rest of the players when they are ready to win.
In 2022 the ideal situation would be to be able to have two first round picks, and even two in 2024, from trading Grant. The target in 2022 would be one of the top 4s and ideally a very, very good 1 or 5 prospect. 1 is probably the highest priority.
I just tend to think that Cade Cunningham settles in at the 2 versus the 1. He'll likely be a co-point, but I still see him filling more of the role of Mamba than Thomas or Magic Johnson. If this happens then Diallo is a good back-up 2 in 2022. Ideally he gets 14 to 18 minutes to play a fast, athletic game.
A fast, athletic game seems to be Saben Lee's game so I like him as the back-up 1. Of course, I'm still at a loss for the top 1. I'm just not a Killian Hayes fan as much as I wish he'd be the solution. Chris Smith might come out of nowhere, but that seems like whimsy. Getting a top 1 likely comes via the 2023 draft or perhaps a second first rounder in 2022 if Grant is traded.
Here's how my crystal ball seems to look:
2022 PG (4) 2022 first round pick acquired for Grant / Saben Lee / Killian Hayes / Chris Smith
2022 SG (3) Cade Cunningham / Hamidoh Diallo / Frank Jackson
2022 SF (3) Saddiq Bey / Josh Jackson / 2022 second round pick
2022 PF (3) Paulo Banchero (1st round pick of choice of 2022) / Isaiah Livers / 2022 second round pick
2022 C (4) Isaiah Stewart / Kelly Olynyk / Trey Lyles / Luka Garza
off the team in 2022 (4) G Rodney McGruder / Corey Joseph / Jerami Grant / Jamorko Pickett
In this scenario I see the Pistons settling for 2 first round picks, probably one in 2022 and 2024, in exchange for Jerami Grant. Ideally, they'd also land a solid young 3 or 2 as well.
Is getting two first round picks enough to warrant trading Grant? He's a very good player and he's been a great addition to the team, but we aren't winning with him, and he's at a age that doesn't match up with when the team will finally put it all together - hoping and holding my breath of course as I write that.
If it's possible would Memphis be up for adding Grant for some salary dumping and in exchange for perhaps their three first round, albeit 20, 26, and 27 picks? Grant could give them an outstanding combination of forwards to compete this year and into the future matching their time line for development.
According to the ESPN NBA Trade Machine this trade works with respect to salary caps:
And to verify, here are the first round picks, as they are projected as of today in the 2022 draft:
The haul for the Pistons won't immediately help the cause. They are projected to lose even more games with this trade, but the Grizzlies improve by 5 games. The depth they would gain on into the playoffs has to be what's most appealing to them, but Grant's on a good deal for 2022-23 too. This opens a window to see their fortunes rise rapidly.
They're current team would shape up to look like this:
PG Ja Morant is out with a knee sprain, so Corey Joseph would add some help at this position in combination with Tyus jones and DeAnthony Melton - who also backs-up at SG
SG Desmond Bane with Zaire Williams and Jon Konchar
SF Dillon Brooks could be spelled by Jerami Grant - who could also be the primary back-up to Jaren Jackson, Jr, at PF
PF Jaren Jackson, Jr, is currently backed up by a green Santi Adama
C Steven Adams and Xavier Tillman
Joseph and Grant both seem to add a lot. I'm asking or wishing that Memphis would pay a pretty steep price, by foregoing the three 1st round picks plus Brandon Clarke and Kyle Anderson, who might fit well on the Pistons. Jarrett Culver and Sam Merrill would likely be waived by the Pistons, or perhaps one might be retained over Rodney McGruder.
Again whether you see a significant shift in playing time for any of the existing 2021-22 Pistons is neither here or there. Possibly both Clarke and Anderson are given a chance to become depth pieces, but the real gain is the three additional draft picks.
Too wishful? Maybe? Would Memphis make this deal? I don't know. If they would, it would seem to give the Pistons what they're looking for to continue to remake their roster for 2022 and beyond.
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