Without a true superstar in the commercial market as the February 10 deadline approaches, contenders will need to focus on a slightly lower caliber of player. One of those who stands out is Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant. While not a franchise-modifying talent, Grant is the rare forward who can contribute significantly at both ends of the pitch. He was averaging 20.1 points per game before a thumb injury knocked him out in December, and he admirably defended Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James in the 2020 playoffs. Unsurprisingly, it sparked some interest.
Athletic’s Shams Charania reported in December that the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers were interested in Grant, but the list is likely much longer. Athletic’s James Edwards III reports that the suitors “regularly call Detroit about Grant.” Although Edwards does not point out any specific suitor, he has speculated on a number of possibilities. Charania also noted that besides the Lakers and Blazers, the Knicks and Wizards are also interested in acquiring Grant.
Another notable possibility is the Chicago Bulls, as, as Edwards reported, the Pistons were high on Bulls forward Patrick Williams in the 2020 NBA Draft. Chicago selected Williams No. 4 overall, four picks before that. Detroit won’t take Killian Hayes at No. 8. Williams is set to miss the season after tearing wrist ligaments.
The math for Chicago would be pretty straightforward. The Bulls have a window to win the championship right now. Brooklyn won’t be complete all season unless Kyrie Irving gets the shot, and Brook Lopez might not be healthy in time for the playoffs after having back surgery. As good as Williams one day may be, trading him for help now, especially in a needy position as the power forward, might be their best chance at winning it all with that core. For Detroit, meanwhile, the advantage of a young striker like Williams would be tantalizing. The No.4 picks overall that showed as much promise as last season are almost never traded in their sophomore year, unless it’s for an All-Star. If available, it represents a rare opportunity for the Pistons.
Of course, it’s unclear whether Chicago would be willing to ditch Williams or what other deals are available. All we can comfortably say at this point is this: The best teams in the NBA are all trying to get Grant, and Detroit should be able to demand a heavy return if they ultimately decide to deal with him.