The Jerami Grant rumor mill never seems to stop churning, but even I had to stop and take notice when Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report dropped a heater of a story centered on Jerami Grant, his trade value and even a little Ben Simmons.
Fischer is well-connected throughout the league, and he’s dropped his fair share of legit Detroit Pistons news and rumors in the past that have stood up to scrutiny. You can’t trust much of anything during NBA trade season, but a Fischer report is about as close to trustworthy as you can get.
Detroit’s ask in a Jerami Grant trade
So what did Fischer have to say about Grant? A whole heck of a lot. Let’s start with how the Pistons seem to value their star forward. Fischer reports the Pistons will be expecting two first-round pick or a first-round pick and an intriguing young player.
Who is Interested in Jerami Grant?
The next logical question is who is interested in Grant. It turns out the answer seems to be a whole heck of a lot of teams. Fischer lists the Lakers, Blazers, Knicks, Jazz, Wizards, Celtics, Timberwolves and Kings as franchises who have expressed interest.
It’s not hard to see how a deal would be constructed with any of the above teams. You take one future first-round pick, you add one of their intriguing but not untouchable young players, and then you add some rotation piece that will likely play in Detroit but mostly serve as salary ballast.
That being said, the Pistons’ interest in those packages would be expected to vary wildly, and the match has to be right for both the Pistons and Grant considering any team trading for him would want assurances he’s ready to sign a $100-plus million extension this offseason.
So, yeah, the Lakers can offer a pick, Kendrick Nunn, Talen Horton Tucker and spare parts, but that doesn’t mean Detroit is interested. Same with Utah offering Joe Ingles and a future pick (or two).
As Fischer writes in a his piece:
With apologies to Myles Turner, “He’s the grand prize of this deadline,” one team strategist said.
Did the Pistons Really Make an Offer for Ben Simmons?
Yes. In fact, based on Fischer’s reporting, it was an offer to Philly for Ben Simmons that ignited league-wide speculation that Grant was indeed available. The Pistons offered Grant, Saddiq Bey, Kelly Olynyk and a first-round pick in exchange for the All-Star initiator and were swiftly rebuffed.
Would Philly eventually relent as the trade deadline got closer? Would the Pistons still be willing to offer the same package today they allegedly offered early this season? Who knows. But that was the offer and that was Philly’s apparent response.
Where is his Most Likely Landing Spot?
Washington, which would sort of be hilarious considering Troy Weaver’s longstanding ties to the Washington D.C.-based hoops scene. The Wizards are interested in getting better and building a competitive team around Bradley Beal. They started hot but are scuffling. One or both of Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura would certainly need to be a part of the deal as would Montrezl Harrell’s expiring deal. Is that really enough for Detroit to pull the trigger?
I certainly wouldn’t love the deal as neither young player has a huge offensive upside the Pistons so desperately need and any picks coming from Washington would seem likely to be mediocre at best.
What Does Detroit REALLY Want?
The big prize for Detroit, at least in my mind, is the Chicago Bulls, and it is something that Fischer covers in his piece. If Chicago wants to go all in they could package Derrick Jones Jr and some spare parts with injured forward Patrick Williams.
Williams was the apple of Troy Weaver’s eye two years ago in the NBA Draft with it known that the Pistons planned to take him at No. 7 before the Bulls swooped in and took him at No. 4.
Grant would slot into their starting power forward slot, have the ability to play alongside DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine and improve the team on both ends of the floor. Detroit would get a potential high-upside two-way wing and would be likely drafting in the top 6 in the upcoming NBA Draft.
What are Realistic Expectations?
Speaking of Jones, I wonder if Jones’ recent injury makes the Bulls more or less likely to consider swinging for the fences on a Jerami Grant-type trade. And speaking of injury, the aforementioned Myles Turner is now out beyond the trade deadline with a stress reaction in his left foot.
That takes another huge name off the trade market and seems to make Grant all the more appealing. With plenty of interested buyers and so few sellers, the market could set up really nice for the Pistons to maximize Grant’s trade value at this year’s deadline.
Could the Pistons Keep Jerami Grant?
Of course. This is also something covered in Fischer’s report, but it lines up with everything else that has been reported previously. Grant’s relationship with Troy Weaver is extremely strong. When Grant came storming out of the gate last season there were reports both sides were interested in a long-term relationship.
Now that things are getting a little more real — Grant’s contract demands are high and better understood, Detroit’s path toward contention is still long — both sides are at least reconsidering what makes the most sense.
But there is a world where Detroit can’t get the value they’re looking for and are more comfortable using its current young stable of players, another potential high-impact draft pick and some roster flexibility to continue building around Grant and rookie Cade Cunningham.
So What Ultimately Happens in the End?
I believe Jerami Grant will be traded before the trade deadline. I believe that the Pistons will likely get more value than the Nuggets got for Aaron Gordon (RJ Hampton, Gary Harris and a 2025 first-round pick), but not much more.
I think you’re looking at a young player you can’t build around but also someone you don’t have to talk yourselves into liking and a decent first-round pick. In a dream scenario the Bulls go all in and the Pistons get Williams. Or they coax an extra low first or a couple good seconds out of a team in a bidding war.
We’ll find out in the next month.