The Detroit Pistons have agreed to trade forward Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a 2025 first-round pick (via the Milwaukee Bucks and protected Nos. 1-4) and multiple pick swaps, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Most notably, the Pistons and Blazers have swapped second-round picks in this year's draft. The Pistons now have No. 36 overall, while the Blazers have No. 46 overall. In addition, the Pistons will receive a 2025 second-round pick from the Blazers and a 2026 second-round pick (most favorable between the Blazers and the New Orleans Pelicans). Detroit will also receive a $21 million trade exception as part of the deal.
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Grant is entering the final year of his contract and was not a long-term piece for the rebuilding Pistons who will now forge ahead with Cade Cunningham and $43 million in cap space for free agency. Moving Grant always made sense, but it's surprising the Pistons weren't able to command more of a return. Perhaps they could have from a desperate contender if they traded Grant at the deadline last season.
However, it's worth noting that Grant is eligible for an extension this offseason and will be looking for a deal worth as much as $112 million over four years. In addition, he wants to be a featured offensive player. There were likely few teams willing to pay Grant and give him the role he desired, which could have resulted in the low trade value. The Blazers were obviously one of them, and have now added a versatile forward to the mix as they try to re-tool around Damian Lillard.
Let's grade the trade:
- 2022 second-round pick via Portland
- 2025 first-round pick via Milwaukee (protected Nos. 1-4)
- 2025 second-round pick via Portland
- 2026 second-round pick (better selection between Portland and New Orleans)
- $21 million trade exception
The Jerami Grant-Detroit Pistons partnership was never long for this world. When Grant signed his three-year, $60 million deal in the summer of 2020, he wanted an opportunity to prove he was more than a defender and spot-up 3-point shooter. The Pistons wanted someone who could soak up offensive responsibility and would have trade value on the back-end.
While the past two seasons didn't amount to much in terms of winning, the pairing ended up being positive for both parties. Grant showed he could handle a more significant role and earned an even larger payday in the process. The Pistons got a bunch of extra draft picks for someone who was never going to be part of their plans long-term.
At first glance, this seems like a low return for Grant, and it's fair to wonder if the Pistons could have gotten more in return from a desperate contender if they had moved him at last season's trade deadline. Any team trading for Grant would have to be willing to pay him his next contract and give him the type of role he was looking for on offense, however, and the fact that they took this deal is a good indication of what sort of offers were out there.
In the end, the Pistons got the first rounder they were looking for -- though they won't be able to use it for three years -- a few extra chances in the second round a cleared a ton of cap space. It's unclear what, if anything, they'll do with that flexibility this summer, but they're better situated for a future that should be bright with Cade Cunningham leading the way.
Trail Blazers receive:
- 2022 second-round pick via Detroit
After eight straight playoff appearances, the Trail Blazers embraced the tank last season after Damian Lillard's abdominal surgery. Out went CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., Robert Covington and Norman Powell, which resulted in a 2-21 close to the season and the No. 7 overall pick.
No one wants this to be a multi-year rebuild, though, especially with Lillard now on the wrong side of 30. The roster is essentially a blank slate outside of Lillard and some young players, and the plan is to build a team that can compete for a playoff spot again right away.
The first step was to go out and acquire Grant, who Lillard has been advocating for, per Wojnarowski. Grant should be a perfect fit as a versatile forward who will immediately improve their porous defense and can take some of the offensive responsibility off of Lillard's shoulders. Having a real scoring threat on the wing will be a nice change of pace for the Blazers, who have relied on a small backcourt for so long.
Best of all for the Blazers, they didn't have to give up much to get a player who will make their team better. A first-round pick three years down the road means much more to a rebuilding Pistons team than it does to a Blazers team trying to win now. The second-round picks and swaps are just sort of whatever.
The next course of business for the Blazers is figuring out how to add even more talent to the roster. Grant is a great start, but he and Lillard won't be able to do it alone. To that end, it's worth noting that the team is dangling the No. 7 pick to try and add a veteran. OG Anunoby is one potential option, according to Chris Haynes.