As the Portland Trail Blazers prepare for a monumental offseason in an effort to rebuild the roster around superstar Damian Lillard, trading for Jerami Grant would be an excellent step in the right direction.
After finishing 13th in the Western Conference with a 27-55 record under first-year head coach Chauncey Billups during an injury-filled season, Portland faces an essential summer with eyes set on upgrading the talent on the team.
For the Blazers to return to the NBA Playoffs next season, they’ll have to strategically utilize their assets, cap space, and vision to construct a complementary, improved squad.
The Portland Trail Blazers should pursue a trade for Jerami Grant as the organization aims to reconstruct the roster around Damian Lillard this offseason.
Throughout the offseason, the Portland Trail Blazers will be busy across all avenues to build next season’s roster, whether it’s through signing free agents, retaining pending free agents, drafting NBA-ready prospects, or acquiring new talent via trade. Pressure will be mounting on general manager Joe Cronin to enhance the supporting cast around Lillard as the rumors about the star point guard leaving the franchise continue to revolve around the league.
An ideal start to strengthening the roster would be to engage the Detroit Pistons in a trade for Jerami Grant. As a versatile 28-year-old forward, Grant would give the Blazers an intriguing two-way presence that would complement the abilities of Damian Lillard.
Despite dealing with injuries this year, Jerami Grant averaged 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 blocks, and 0.9 steals per game while shooting 42.6 percent from the floor and 35.8 percent from three-point range.
The 6’8 forward is a polished scorer and multi-positional defender. While Grant can score from all angles, his athleticism, versatility, and length of him have formed him into an exceptional asset on the defensive end, which the Blazers have desperately needed more of in years past.
Grant doesn’t jump out as an efficient scorer, but he wouldn’t have to rely on creating his own shot as much if he were playing alongside Damian Lillard in Portland. Lillard would make it easier for Grant to score with open catch-and-shoot opportunities, pick-and-roll situations, cuts to the basket, and more.
Instead of mostly producing offense with the ball in his hands through isolations and penetration in Detroit, Grant would excel as a floor-spacer, slasher, roller, and dunker spot finisher and would ultimately become more efficient with the Blazers offensively.
He’d be a highly impactful fit with Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on both ends of the floor. Grant even played with Lillard on Team USA’s 2021 Olympic Gold Medalist group, so there’s familiarity and chemistry between those two there.
In addition to the attractive fit, the Blazers have what it takes to acquire Jerami Grant. After landing the 7th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Portland could entice a rebuilding Pistons organization with a substantial offer that would meet their desired interests.
Here’s what a potential deal could look like for Jerami Grant:
Trail Blazers Get
2022 first-round pick (No. 7)
2022 second-round pick (No. 57)
Another lottery pick would satisfy Detroit’s rebuilding process for the long-term future, and the second-round pick would be an added incentive. The Pistons most likely wouldn’t be interested in Eric Bledsoe, but his expiring $19.3 million contract would be included as salary filler. Salaries in this potential trade would match up since Jerami Grant will be on an expiring $20.9 million contract. The Blazers would also be able to extend Grant.
Portland will have intriguing options if they were to keep the 7th overall pick, such as Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin, Duke’s AJ Griffin, Memphis’ Jalen Duren, or many others. But with their timeline and eagerness to compete for a title now, it would make the most sense to trade the pick in a deal that returns an immediate impact player like Jerami Grant.
Based on the two-way consistent production, ideal fit, and availability, the Portland Trail Blazers should pursue a trade for Jerami Grant as they gear up to strengthen the roster around Damian Lillard this offseason.