Jerami Grant trade rumors: Pistons split on trading forward who’s looking for 4-year, $100 million extension

As the Feb. 10 trade deadline moves closer and closer, we continue to learn more information about who may (or may not) be traded. The latest buzz focuses on Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant, who could be one of the biggest names on the move this year.

At the moment, however, there is apparently a disagreement inside the Pistons’ front office about whether to trade Grant, according to veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein. Here’s the latest from his newsletter:

Two Fridays ago, I wrote about the longstanding affinity Pistons GM Troy Weaver has for Jerami Grant and how that could lead to Detroit rebuffing all the trade interest in Grant at the deadline in a prime potential example of even a supposed selling team refusing to sell. Some rival clubs are now describing what amounts to a split within the organization about keeping or trading Grant … with Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem said to be open to an immediate trade.

Among the issues working against a deal: Detroit wants a relative haul for Grant while Grant is said to be seeking a considerable role offensively with a new team as well a four-year contract extension in excess of $100 million. Sacramento has been mentioned this week as a determined Grant suitor but it is unclear whether the Kings can meet the Pistons’ asking price. Atlanta, I’m told, is not actively pursuing Grant (with the obligatory caveat thrown in that there is still time for that stance to change).

The Pistons currently have the second-worst record in the league at 11-37 and are in the early stages of what figures to be a long rebuild. Grant, who is about to turn 28 years old, doesn’t fit their timeline, and is their most valuable trade asset (aside from Cade Cunningham, who they obviously aren’t moving). Meanwhile, he has a skill set that could help a lot of teams and is on a very reasonable contract.

In a vacuum, he’s a perfect trade candidate. But as we know, deals don’t happen in a vacuum and there are some factors that may not make it so easy to trade Grant. As Stein noted, Grant and Pistons GM Troy Weaver have a longstanding relationship that dates back to Oklahoma City. Playing for Weaver and Dwane Casey in Detroit means a lot to Grant, as he told The Athletic earlier this year:

“Whether it’s on the court or off, there’s a sense of understanding that you get from — and I’m not going to say all, but a majority — Black people who have gone through and are going through some of the struggles that we do,” Grant said. “I think that gives you a better connection, makes it a little easier and makes you feel better about yourself when you have people that look like you around.

“Being around Troy, knowing how Troy is, what he stands for … meeting Coach Casey and understanding how he is, that played a big role in it. I know what Troy stands for and how he’s going to move throughout his tenure here.”

The NBA is a business, and Weaver has to do what’s best for the Pistons’ future, but it’s clear based on reporting and quotes that he’s not going to trade Grant just to trade him.

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Likewise, some of Grant’s personal preferences may make things complicated. For one, he reportedly wants to maintain a major offensive role wherever he plays. That was part of the reason he left the Denver Nuggets to join the Pistons in free agency in 2020. No one can fault him for that because it’s fun to have the ball all the time, but most contenders already have players who run their offenses. If Grant isn’t going to be happy in a secondary or even tertiary role, it may make some teams wary of trading for him.

Then there’s the matter of his future contract. While Grant’s current deal is in place until 2023, he’s reportedly seeking a four-year extension worth at least $100 million. In a recent podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said “teams are under the impression they want two firsts, maybe a young interesting player to go with them or two interesting young players and one first.” That’s a high price, and one you wouldn’t pay unless you saw Grant as part of your long-term future, and were committed to giving him that extension. That, again, could limit the number of teams interested in making a move.

In short, Grant will remain a name to watch through the deadline, but we shouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t get traded.