It has been hotly rumored that the most aggressive suitor for Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant at the deadline was the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers were one of the most active teams at the deadline, shipping off CJ McCollum, Robert Covington and Norman Powell in separate deals while collecting a first-round pick, Josh Hart and some much-needed financial flexibility to eventually remake the team around veteran Damian Lillard.
Adding a young two-way forward like Jerami Grant made sense in that effort, and when Grant didn’t move at the deadline it left many people wondering why. Marc Stein reports in his latest newsletter that Portland was and remains a “determined” suitor of Grant.
Stein also reports what the trade deadline package looked like:
The Pistons rebuffed those pitches, apparently wanting more than the Blazers could package at that stage in an offer said to feature Josh Hart and draft compensation.
This all but confirms the speculation that the biggest hang-up to any Grant deal was that the Blazers were dangling a hypothetical pick from New Orleans and that Detroit said no because the pick would not have conveyed if New Orleans managed to make the playoffs (or jumped in the lottery).
Despite being just 34-44, the Pelicans are currently in ninth place in the West and thus slated for the play-in games that might find them in the postseason. If they fall out of the play-in or lose then the pick would convey to the Blazers.
Previously, Shams Charania reported that the Blazers intend to make the Pelicans pick available to the Pistons in pursuit of Grant this offseason assuming it conveys.
The most interesting wrinkle to my online-addled brain was a not so subtle little hint at the potential for a Grant and Blazers reunion after the two teams played each other for the final time this season.
Grant visited with both Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic and newly acquired guard Josh Hart on the court. Nurkic, the rascal, tweeted out a photo of the three of them together.
Josh Hart wanted to get in on the fun and tweeted out a photo of the three together with Grant looking at Hart instead of Nurkic.
Originally, I assumed this was a sly nod from two players to a potential future teammate. But if Stein’s reporting is to be believed, Hart was a part of the package the Blazers intended to send to Detroit.
Maybe Hart doesn’t care about playing for the Blazers versus playing for the Pistons and still wanted to get in on the fun. Or maybe he’s confident he’d no longer be a part of any future deal for Grant.
But it is interesting. To a twitter-poisoned soul like me, at least.