The truth is, every NBA team could use Jerami Grant.
He’s a 6-foot-8 wing player capable of guarding elite-level scorers. He scored over 20 points a game in his two years in Detroit. Offensively, his role has been that of a lead option, but also the third or fourth option on a playoff team.
He’s more than a role player, less than a star. He’s just super solid. Guys like Grant are players that coaches dream of, so easily slotted into lineups because of his versatility.
So, while he has been the lead dog on the Detroit Pistons for much of the last two seasons, he will fall somewhere between the second or third option on his new team, the Portland Trail Blazers, after being traded out west on June 23.
Portland is in need of getting back to the playoffs next season in order to keep their superstar, Damian Lillard, interesting in staying. Thus, the addition of Grant. And the Blazers probably are not done tweaking the roster. Beyond Lillard, there is not much certainty on the roster.
Center Jusuf Nurkic is an unrestricted free agent. Up-and-comer Anfernee Simons is a restricted free agent. If both are retained, Portland has the makings of a decent roster when adding in guys like Josh Hart, Justise Winslow and Nassir Little.
With CJ McCollum having been shipped off to New Orleans last season, Portland’s identity as a team with an undersized, but potent backcourt needed to be re-made. Enter Grant.
He will be leaned on to take some of the scoring load off Lillard (who was integral in trying to get Grant to Portland), as well as giving the Blazers a formidable wing on both sides of the ball, something Portland has been looking for for years.
With Detroit committed to rebuilding around their recent draft picks Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, the Pistons were not wanting to continue their relationship with Grant, especially because he is eligible for an extension after next season that could be as large as four years and $112 million.
Portland’s desire to complete the trade signals they are fine with the price tag and the commitment in years it will take to retain Grant beyond next season.
Will a Portland team led by Lillard and Grant be a playoff team in the 2022-23 season? Depending on the roster around them, maybe the Blazers can sneak into the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff picture.
Regardless, it looks like Grant will be in Portland (the city in which he was born) for the next few years. And Portland, much like basically every team in the league, is happy to have a guy like Grant with such an all-around skill set.