The Detroit Pistons have handed over their best veteran to Portland in Jerami Grant. What does the deal mean for Cade Cunningham’s team – and can the Trail Blazers attack again? The trade in analysis.
In the days before the draft there are traditionally a lot of rumours, now after Christian Wood after Dallas the next tangible deal has actually been announced early. In Jerami Grant, a highly sought-after player changes teams and should help ensure that Portland can attack again after last year’s disappointment.
The price for this is relatively small: Portland gives up a total of three second-round picks (No. 36 this year, second-round picks in 2025 and 2026), plus only one first-round pick, the top-four protected 2025 first-rounder of the Milwaukee Bucks. Alongside Grant, Portland will also get the No. 46 pick back this year from Detroit.
For both teams, the offseason has only just begun with this deal – more could follow.
The trade at a glance
|Get Trail Blazers||Jerami Grant, Nr.46-Pick 2022|
|received pistons||No.36 pick 2022, Top 4 protected FRP 2025 (via MIL), SRP 2025, SRP 2026|
The trade from the point of view of the Detroit Pistons
At first glance, Detroit didn’t get much for their most valuable veteran. The only first-round pick comes from a team that will most likely still have the then 30-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2025 and will therefore not be anywhere near the lottery. Maybe you could have gotten more with a bid, but maybe the market for Grant wasn’t as big as you might think.
Either way, Detroit is about much more than this “direct” equivalent. Grant had become expendable, age does not necessarily fit the timeline of 20-year-old franchise player Cade Cunningham and the player Detroit will pick at position 5. And apart from that, this deal above all brings flexibility to the Pistons.
Since Grant was traded in Portland’s Trade Exception, Detroit is generating an additional $20 million in cap space, bringing the total to around $43 million, easily enough for a max contract and potentially more free agents. Detroit can be a big player in the market and Cunningham can have a star to match.
Presumably, the Pistons want to aggressively bid for the best restricted free agents – namely Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns), Miles Bridges (Charlotte Hornets) and Collin Sexton (Cleveland Cavaliers), like them Detroit Free Press reported. While Phoenix would certainly prefer to let Ayton go via sign-and-trade rather than “just like that,” who knows if there’ll even be a suitable option for that.
Logically, if the RFA fails, Detroit can use its cap space to pick up bad contracts and get paid for it in more picks (there’s even room for Russell Westbrook’s contract, btw!). The cap space can also be secured until 2023, when the free agency class is probably much better occupied than this year.
In principle, the Pistons have almost all options open to them as they want to shape the future with their core Cunningham. You have to choose the right one, which of course doesn’t come naturally – but that’s a problem many teams would like to have.