Just a day away from the NBA draft, we got our second major trade of the off-season. In exchange for a 2025 first-round pick and the rights to select 36th in this year’s draft, the Portland Trail Blazers landed Jerami Grant (and pick 46). Grant, who broke out in a bigger role during the 2020-21 season, fits very nicely on a Portland team still looking to compete with Damian Lillard. Here’s why.
After acting mainly as a spot-up shooter in OKC and Denver, Grant displayed the ability to create his own shot when given more freedom in Detroit. He shot 42.9% on long twos this year.
With his self-creation skills, Grant will be able to take some scoring pressure off of Damian Lillard.
When the star forward is playing alongside Lillard, he can also play off-ball. Grant knocked down a respectable 36.2% of his catch-and-shoot threes this past season. It’s easy to envision him getting more open looks when the defense is keyed in on Lillard, and I expect that percentage to increase.
Grant is also effective at getting to the rim. He finished 49.1% of his tries off 8.3 drives per game, a similar success rate to stars like Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler.
Grant’s overall scoring ability will make him a legitimate second or third option in Rip City, depending on how they use young stud Anfernee Simons.
Defense has long been Portland’s problem, and Grant can help fix that. He provides Coach Billups with a lengthy 6’8″ guy to throw at opposing stars, filling the hole left behind by Robert Covington at the trade deadline.
His on-ball D is solid, but Grant’s best defensive trait is his shot-blocking. He has sent back 1.1 shots per game for his career.
The eight-year man has great timing from the help side, using his seven-foot wingspan to reject opponents at the rim.
HIs swatting skills from the weak side will be usual for a Blazers team whose starting center Jusuf Nurkic isn’t known for shot blocking.
Overall, acquiring a borderline top fifty player who fills a need while giving up only a couple draft picks is a fantastic move for Portland. They will be selecting seventh in tomorrow’s draft and still have some cash to spend in free agency, and Dame’s supporting cast is shaping up to be one of the best he’s had in his career.
If I had to give an immediate grade for this deal, I would give both parties an A. Even though Detroit didn’t get a lot of immediate value in return for Grant, they cleared up a ton of cap space and now are set to have $40+ million to throw at a guy like Deandre Ayton.
What are your thoughts on this trade? Who won in your opinion? Let me know! Thanks for reading, and see you next time!