The Detroit PIstons and Jerami Grant found themselves an odd but well-matched free-agency pairing last offseason. Grant chose to bet on himself and his ability to lead an offense, and the Pistons saw in him an opportunity to skip one of the hardest parts of a rebuild: Adding an accomplished veteran to a squad on its way back up.
Signing Grant on Day 1 of the tear-down sidestepped that whole challenge. Grant bought in from the start and was eager to undergo the process of leading a once-great team back from the wilderness to its former glory.
The Detroit PIstons and Jerami Grant found themselves an odd but well-matched free-agency pairing. Now, he’s a hot commodity in the fake trade market.
Grant blew away expectations this past season, especially in the early goings of the year when he had the assistance of accomplished NBA veterans like Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose. As they departed the team and the youth movement took over, his play faltered down the stretch, but he had already made a lasting impression.
As a result of this, of course, other teams took notice of his outstanding play, and the media did as well. With Grant well and fully on the scene, he’s become one of the hottest commodities in the fake trade market.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there are any grounds to move him, and the investment that both Grant and the Pistons organization made in each other in November transcends any return of a young player and draft pick that can be presented in exchange for him.
One such fake trade was designed by our friends at Bleacher Report in their efforts to generate one trade for each team not in the NBA Finals. That leaves out just the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks, and this is a difficult exercise indeed.
The trade that B/R writer Zach Buckley constructed between the Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies looks like this:
2021 first-round pick (No. 17)
As I said, this is a difficult exercise for anybody, so Buckley’s efforts to construct a trade involving the Pistons should be commended. This is a team that turned over almost the entire roster before this past season even began, largely via trade, so seeing more trades come from general manager Troy Weaver wouldn’t be that surprising.
However, those trades were not mere deals for the sake of making trades and cluttering up the phone line to the NBA league offices. Weaver had a vision of the kinds of players he wanted in Detroit, and the team he inherited largely did not have those players. This team does, and that begins and ends with Jerami Grant.
The trade idea outlined here illustrates the difficulty of finding a suitable package if the PIstons were even seeking such a thing (which they’re not). Jaren Jackson Jr. is a former top prospect, the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. He’s battled injuries in his career but has promise and could be the kind of player the Pistons would love.
Justise Winslow has seemingly been injured his whole career, and trusting his durability is a fool’s gambit. And that 17th pick might pique Weaver’s interest as a man who loves a good first-round draft pick, but at this cost? On paper to a neutral observer, this trade package might look adequate. But for the Detroit Pistons on their current trajectory, Jerami Grant should expect to remain a franchise fixture.
This trade doesn’t work for the Pistons.