No. No, thank you. Just no. I appreciate the thought, but not a chance. I don’t care what the screenshot looks like or how much your four-team, 17-player trade makes the Detroit Pistons better, I preemptively reject any proposed trade that winds up with Jerami Grant back in a Pistons uniform.
I kindly would prefer to pass.
Part of the fallout of the seismic Damian Lillard trade from Portland to Milwaukee might have been way down on the list, but it is first in giving me anxiety, and that is Portland obviously looking to move on from the veteran Grant as it looks to rebuild around Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe, Deandre Ayton, and Anfernee Simons.
That might not matter as much as how every other contender reacts to the Bucks’ big gamble, pointing and laughing at the Miami Heat, or even that other, much more valuable vet with the Blazers in Jrue Holiday and what he could fetch on the trade market.
No. 1 on my watch list, though, is Grant. Because I’m afraid.
Look, I like Grant. He’s an incredibly good guy who puts in the work, is unselfish, is beloved by teammates, and is a good player. It’s that horrible, awful, contract I want nothing to do with.
Grant was traded away largely because he wanted a huge new deal and wanted to team up with his buddy Dame after both played for Team USA. Well, he got both in Portland. To the tune of $160 million over five years. Not only will he be making north of $25 million per season, but he will command $36 million in 2027 as a 33-year-old forward, and there is no early out from the Blazers. Straight five years at an inflated price sitting right there as long as Grant opts in.
Like I said, no thank you.
I am, however, resigned to the fact that those trade rumors will be coming. Before he re-signed with the Blazers, James Edwards III of The Athletic was reporting Detroit had not closed the door on a reunion with Detroit via free agency if he couldn’t get the deal he wanted from Portland.
The Pistons also happen to have some of the worst traditional power forward depth in the league. For now, they seem willing to play two bigs to fill the role with Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley and James Wiseman. Or they just slot in veteran Bojan Bogdanovic and get shredded on defense. In a clinical sense, Jerami Grant “helps.” And that is what terrifies me.
And if any team could easily move a couple of bad contracts to facilitate unloading an unwanted $30 million-a-year player it is Detroit.
All it takes is Bagley, Wiseman and Killian Hayes for Grant and salary and roster filler.
Or it could be Joe Harris, one big man, and you’ve got yourself a deal.
It’s painfully easy to inherit a player you like (your mileage may vary) and a contract you hate (and if you don’t, I question your investment strategy).
Again, I want nothing to do with it. But I expect to hear the murmurs. Even if there is no validity to them, it’s too easy to connect some stale (and maybe accurate) dots. It’s too easy to put a deal together. It’s too easy for each side to not really give up much value, and for Detroit to talk themselves into getting the best player in the deal.
I’d rather let James Wiseman play himself out of the rotation and off the team via letting him walk as a restricted free agent. I’d rather try and fit Bagley and/or Killian into whatever future mega-trade James Harden finds himself in the middle of as long as Detroit gets a minimal return and a little salary relief or a better roster fit for the same cost.
I’d rather just move on and move forward and leave the Jerami Grant years behind us. Don’t get it twisted, that first Grant season was great fun. He was getting buckets and keeping a non-competitive team in far more games than it deserves. But Detroit has moved beyond that. It’s time to double down on that young core and salary cap flexibility they’ve been working toward.
Once again, and hopefully for the final time but I doubt it, no thank you.