Without a true superstar on the trade market with the deadline approaching, contenders are going to have to focus on a slightly lower caliber of player. One such standout is Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant. Though not a franchise-altering talent, Grant is the rare forward that can meaningfully contribute on both ends of the floor. He was averaging 20.1 points per game before a thumb injury knocked him out in December, and he defended Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James admirably in the 2020 playoffs. Unsurprisingly, this has led to quite a bit of interest.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported in December that the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers were interested in Grant, but the list likely goes far deeper. The Athletic’s James Edwards III reports that contenders are “routinely calling Detroit about Grant.” While Edwards does not report any specific suitors, he did speculate on a number of possibilities.
One notable possibility is the Chicago Bulls, because, as Edwards reports, the Pistons were high on Bulls forward Patrick Williams in the 2020 NBA Draft. Chicago selected Williams No. 4 overall, four picks before Detroit took Killian Hayes at No. 8. Williams is expected to miss the season after tearing ligaments in his wrist.
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The calculus for Chicago would be fairly simple. The Bulls have a window to win the championship right now. Brooklyn will be at less than full strength all season unless Kyrie Irving gets vaccinated, and Brook Lopez may not be healthy in time for the playoffs after undergoing back surgery. As good as Williams might one day be, swapping him in for help now, especially at a position of need like power forward, might be their best chance at winning it all with this core. For Detroit, meanwhile, the upside of a young forward like Williams would be tantalizing. No. 4 overall picks who have shown as much promise as he did last season almost never get traded in their second year unless it’s for an All-Star. If he’s available, he represents a rare opportunity for the Pistons.
Of course, there’s no telling whether or not Chicago would be willing to give up Williams, or what other offers are out there. All we can say comfortably at this point is this: the NBA‘s best teams are all trying to get Grant, and Detroit should be able to demand a hefty return if they ultimately decide to deal him.