Or maybe we’re not?
Marc Stein of the New York Times is reporting that “Arn Tellem [is] said to be open to an immediate trade.” That’s interestingly worded.
Tellem is a powerbroker with the Pistons. He’s connected, he’s respected, and he knows how the trade market works from his days as an NBA agent. But he’s not in charge. Tellem is the Pistons Vice Chairman, basically an advisor to owner Tom Gores who has his hands in all aspects of the franchise — on and off the court.
From what we’ve heard and seen over the past two seasons, GM Troy Weaver has the autonomy to make moves and shape this franchise as he sees fit. He’s the only making these decisions, not Tellem.
Now, with that said, it’s possible Weaver isn’t as antsy to deal Grant. Their relationship predates Grant’s time with the Pistons. Weaver is also smart. If the right Grant offer comes to the table, he’ll probably pull the trigger.
But what if that offer never comes?
ESPN’s Zach Lowe, speculated on that during the Lowe Post podcast today:
I’m not sure Detroit is going to trade Jerami Grant. Are we going to get all the way to the deadline and Jerami Grant’s not traded? Again, this could all be bluster and they’re just desperate to trade him and they’ll trade him for one first-round pick and an ok player.
Teams are under the impression they want two firsts, maybe a young interesting player to go with them or two interesting young players and one first.
That’s a high asking price. Too high, if you ask me. You want a pick and you want the interesting young player for Grant.
You’re not going to trade him for the sake of trading him, though there are some Pistons fans who’d be fine trading him to the Jazz or Lakers for the pocket lint they’re offering. That would be bad asset management.
If the best Grant trade doesn’t come until July 29 during the NBA Draft, that’s fine... frustrating, but fine.
It just feels like Grant has so much more value to contenders for two playoff runs vs. one next season. The rumors about the Hawks and John Collins, which have cooled recently, seem too good to be true, but a the same time, desperation drives action.
The Hawks are a team with high expectations that totally bungled a golden opportunity this summer. They’ve married Trae Young to mediocrity. They’re the perfect kind of desperate, the kind we can only hope the Bulls reach so they end up in a bidding war for Grant.
I can see Washington getting antsy. I can see Chicago getting antsy. Hell, Atlanta is almost there. Those are the three panic button trade partners that Weaver has to wait out over the next two weeks.
I get why the Bulls wouldn’t want to trade Patrick Williams, especially to a team in their own division, but they specifically has such a small window for contention. It’s more wide open than ever in the NBA, if Chicago lets this season slip away, they might not be in this spot again with aging stars like Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan.
The beauty of this, though, is simple: The Pistons don’t have to do anything.
They control the market, and there are still 14 business days left to figure it all out.