Blazers get top marks for Jerami Grant deal


Blazers get top marks for Jerami Grant deal

The Portland Trail Blazers gave their fans an early NBA draft gift that was Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant. To secure the former Team USA representative, general manager Joe Cronin parted ways with the protected 2025 Milwaukee Bucks pick he received with the New Orleans Pelicans in February.

The Blazers also sent their 36th pick — for the Pistons’ 46th pick tonight — and the Pistons’ 2025 second-round pick will be the better pick against Portland or the 2026 New Orleans second-rounders.

Grant’s $20 million contract also fits well with the trade exception created in the Pelicans deal, which meant the Blazers didn’t have to send any money while they opened up cap space for the Pistons.

Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni gave the Blazers an A, calling the deal a no-brainer while passing a C to the Pistons.

He will be a very nice addition alongside Lillard. Portland badly needed long, athletic wings alongside Dame, who can also shoot and defend, and Grant is just the ticket. With Josh Hart The Blazers, who also occupy one of the wing spots – and perhaps another veteran who could be acquired in exchange for the No. 7 – should have nice ground balance, which they’ve lacked in recent years. Grant can play both forward positions (while mostly playing the four) and on rare occasions can slip into the middle in super small looks.

Grant should benefit from playing off Lillard’s ball. He averaged 36.2% on catch-and-shoot threes last season, which is already enough to keep a defense honest, and checkers should give him even better looks in the future. Right now, Grant is only signed until 2023 for nearly $21 million, but following last season’s teardown, the Blazers have the flexibility to sign him on a deal that should both see Grant’s prime and not mess up their cap roster . Grant may not be as exciting as a second star CJ McCollum. Nonetheless, he is a proven player who has managed to outplay a ball-dominating star before. With the Blazers needing some two-way wings and still having room to maneuver for more talent, this deal was a layup.

Benyame Kidane of The Sporting News applauded Cronin for getting Grant for such a relatively small return, giving the Blazers an A- and the Pistons a B+.

The Trail Blazers didn’t have to give up much to take on a key role in their roster while trying to tend to superstar Damian Lillard. Surprisingly, they were able to close the deal without parting with their #7 pick in this year’s draft, allowing them to add another top-end talent to their core of young players. After relying on their too-small backcourt on offense in recent years, Grant immediately gives the Blazers a goal threat from the wing. It also offers them a versatile defender that can take on multiple positions.

Last season, the Blazers were one of the worst defensive teams in the league, finishing 29th in defensive standings. Grant is immediately deployed as the top defensive player. In 47 games last season, Grant averaged 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists at 42.6 percent from the field and 35.8 percent from the 3-point line. The move is also a boost for Lillard, who was keen to work with Grant. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the pair won a gold medal together for Team USA. Portland’s ability to capitalize on the $21 million trade exception it created in last season’s deals with the Clippers and Pelicans is a plus.

Conversely, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton gave the Blazers a B+ and the Pistons an A-, giving Detroit the edge for the extra $20 million in cap space it now owns.

It will be interesting to see how Grant fits back into a competitive team. He filled a role for the Denver nuggets In 2019-20, he helped them reach the Western Conference Finals in the bubble before signing with the Pistons for more offensive opportunities. Grant’s usage rate rose from a below-average 18% of pieces in Denver to 28.5% in Detroit. In this context, Grant’s near-average efficiency was impressive considering he had never before been considered a creator of recordings.

In Portland, Grant’s role will likely fall somewhere between those two extremes. Lillard and Simons are considered the team’s top two scorers, but Grant could play offensively if either guard is on the bench, historically a trouble spot for the Blazers’ offense. When off the ball, Grant is the kind of high-volume but average accuracy (36% last season on 6.1 attempts per game) 3-point shooter Portland typically displayed as a forward.

CBS Sports’ Jack Maloney gave the Blazers an A- and the Pistons a B, praising the fact that Portland only had to give up a seemingly inconsequential draft fee for Grant.

The first step was to acquire Grant, which Lillard championed, per Wojnarowski. Grant should be a perfect match for a versatile forward who can instantly improve his leaky defense and take some of the offensive responsibility off of Lillard’s shoulders. Having a real goal threat down the wing will be a nice change of pace for the Blazers, who have relied on a small backcourt for so long.

The best thing for the Blazers was that they didn’t have to give up much to get a player who will make their team better. A first-round pick three years from now means a lot more to a rebuilding Pistons team than it does to a Blazers team trying to win now. The picks and swaps in the second round are just like this or something.

Last Word on Sports’ Wyatt Carlson gave Portland an A and the Pistons a B-, highlighting Grant’s defensive prowess.

There have been trade talks regarding Grant being traded to Portland’s 7th pick overall in this year’s draft. Portland was able to bring in a second option alongside Lillard that really showcases his skills without straying from such a hefty draft capital. In fact, they don’t even give up any of their own picks, so they can always rebuild without worrying about giving up a high lottery pick.

In years past, Portland’s second option was CJ McCollum, another undersized guard who injured her defensively. Grant is a player who, as a 6’8″ winger, can use his length to have a big impact on the defensive side of the ball. Portland had their sights set on pairing a bigger player alongside Lillard after they moved away from McCollum at the close of trade. Bringing in a player as good as Grant, who averaged 19.2 points and shot 35.8% from three, will completely change Portland’s offense. This will be the best grand piano Lillard has played on since working with LaMarcus Aldridge.

Portland was also able to hold Anfernee Simons in this trade. This means they are in contention for the playoffs while still having young players in Simons and the seventh overall to aid in the rebuilding process going forward. Simons averaged 17.3 points last season without Lillard and could potentially slip into the scoring position to start alongside Lillard.

The Athletic’s Zach Harper (subscription required) saw the deal as a B for Portland and C+ for Detroit. also commended the Blazers for the amount they had to give up.

Grant’s a really nice pickup for the Blazers. Using someone with his skills and versatility at both ends of the parquet brings back a lot of veteran know-how that we saw missing for most of 2021-22. Chauncey Billups ended up playing a lot of guys most NBA fans have never heard of, and the result was the record for most 30-point losses in a season (15!). Now the direction is pretty clear. Back to the playoffs. Go back to making this look like a competitive team. And get some much-needed help to Damian Lillard. Earning grants is the first part of it.

The Blazers used the seventh pick in this draft as bait to try and grab some veterans who can help this team win right away. Some of the rumors swirled around them after they left Toronto Raptors Forward OG Anunoby, and really, it’s the next move, or series of moves, that will tell us how good this deal is for Portland. If this is the main move of blazers then it’s going to be a pretty tough season again.

Grant is good. He has grown a lot in h

is time in the NBA, and he really lost weight after arriving in Denver. In Detroit, he was asked to be the top scorer and he averaged 20.9 points per game with 55.6 percent correct shots. If you use his defensive skills, he can help the Blazers in many areas that they’ve been lacking in recent years. They need switchable wings on either end of the floor, and Grant gives them one of those. However, he is only under contract for 2022/23. Portland is absolutely making that trade on the assumption that it can re-sign him, but that’s not a given. The Blazers need more help than Grant, and they need to make sure he’s a long-term fix. The closet for this roster is still pretty empty.

Clutch Points’ Karl Rasmussen honored the Blazers with an A and the Pistons with a low C, noting the potential impact Grant can have playing alongside Damian Lillard.

The Blazers made the decision to retool the roster rather than rebuild and continue to look to build around Damien Lillard. Whether or not that call pays off in the long run remains to be seen, but considering the Blazers are eager to remain competitive, Grant is an excellent addition to the roster. As a 3-and-D specialist, Grant represents exactly what the Blazers have been missing on the wing in recent years.

Last year in Detroit, Grant averaged 19.2 points per game and knocked down 1.9 3s per night at a 35.8% clip. He was a reliable offensive threat on the touchline and is also a talented defender. Grant is capable of playing both forward positions and could break in as a power forward, starting in an impressive starting lineup alongside Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Josh Hart and Jusuf Nurkic.

The Blazers have the valuable wing asset they’ve been coveting since the close, and they didn’t even have to give up their first-round draft pick to get it. Portland will add Grant to the roster and will also be able to bring in some young talent with their seventh overall win. This is an absolute win for the Blazers, who have landed a quality piece at a very insignificant price.

We’ll bring you more reactions when or if they come.

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