Jerami Grant will miss the Detroit Pistons’ remaining seven games with a calf strain that originally kept him out of Detroit’s game against the New York Knicks, the team announced Monday.
Grant seemed to injured the calf early against the Washington Wizards, going to the sidelines in the first quarter and never returning to action.
The Pistons forward is averaging 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in his second season in Detroit. He also is about to enter an offseason full of uncertainty and possibility — including the potential of a new long-term deal and playing for a new franchise.
Grant has one year and $20 million remaining on his original three-year deal he inked with Detroit as then-new GM Troy Weaver’s first signature move. The deal has worked out for both Detroit and Grant. The franchise had a young, steady veteran leader to help show a raft of young players the ropes, the team still secured the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft and now have a player that draws interest on the trade market.
For Grant, the move allowed him to grow his offensive game and reputation within the league. He was runner-up last season for Most Improved Player and secured a spot on the 2020 Olympic team that won gold. He’s now looking for a $112 million contract extension either in Detroit or elsewhere.
There was reportedly significant trade interest around the deadline for Grant but no deal was struck. However, that doesn’t preclude a deal happening closer to the NBA Draft once the draft order is determined and picks might be more freely available for a rebuilding team like Detroit.
There are signs that a deal could happen with the Portland Trail Blazers, who are one of the teams reported to have shown the most interest in Grant at the deadline as it looks to rebuild around star Damian Lillard and a young, athletic but already established forward like Grant would fit the bill nicely.
The Blazers have the potential to land two picks in the top 12 of the upcoming draft, and the Pistons would surely demand one of those picks as the starting point for any potential Grant deal.
If Grant does return to Detroit next season, he’ll likely be playing alongside a different-looking, and hopefully improved, team. Cade Cunningham will have a year under his belt, Saddiq Bey will be more established as a legitimate third or fourth option, the Pistons could swing a deal for a major acquisition or free-agent addition thanks to a load of cap space, and the team could be adding another difference-maker through the draft.