When NBA teams have their season’s end, either by getting knocked out of the playoffs or, like the Detroit Pistons, not making the playoffs, rumors swirl about possible new players. A report from a Wizards reporter said Jerami Grant is interested in coming to DC.
Our reaction: C’mon.
When the NBA off-season begins (which it has for all but eight teams) there are so many trial balloons launched about potential players, you could block out the sun if they were real.
Why on Earth would Jerami Grant leave the Detroit Pistons for the Washington Wizards?
The reporter is not some guy in his mom’s basement thinking up stuff, or we would have just laughed this off. Mr. Mayo cover the Wizards for Blue Wire, a respected podcast company.
The Wizards just got flattened by a Philadelphia 76ers team without Joel Embiid to get eliminated in Game 5 of the first round. They let Seth Curry score 30. Not Steph, Seth!
So Washington needs help, particularly someone who could play defense.
Of the three players named in the Tweet, only Grant is currently under contract, having just completed the first year of a three-year, $60 million deal he signed with the Pistons last year.
Giving the report a little more credibility is the fact Grant grew up in the D.C. area. He went to nationally-renowned DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington.
So, would the Wizards like Jerami Grant? Sure, a defensive-oriented forward, with some pop on offense, would be most helpful to a team that finished five games below .500 in the regular season.
Since Grant is under contract, what kind of trade goodies could the Wizards offer Pistons general manager Troy Weaver for him. It would have to be A LOT.
Here is one possibility:
But, remember, the report is that Grant is the one who expressed interest in coming to the Wizards. The Pistons are not looking to deal him.
Grant made his reputation as a great defensive player, but he wanted to show he also had major offensive skills, so he left the Denver Nuggets (fresh off making the Western Conference finals) to sign as a free agent with the Detroit Pistons.
The move paid off, as Grant averaged 22.8 points a game, and was second in the NBA Most Improved Player voting.
Now, Detroit was nowhere as good as the Denver team that Grant left, finishing just 20-52. Grant began his NBA career with the ‘Process’ teams of Sam Hinkie’s Philadelphia 76ers, so he knows all about constantly losing.
But Grant knew what the Pistons were going to be this year. But he does not think the Pistons ‘retooling’ is anything like the 76ers process, as he told Omari Sankofa II of the Free Press on April 25.
“Nah, it’s not the same,” Grant said. “It’s a lot different. It’s not a rebuild, as Troy always says. It’s not three or four years into the future. We’re looking forward to doing something big next year (emphasis mine). So no, it doesn’t have the same feeling as there.”
So Grant is obviously expecting the Pistons to improve next year, with him as the No. 1 scoring option. Why would he leave? Unless he really misses the Cherry Blossoms blooming.
Going to the Wizards, Grant moves back to the situation he left in Denver … the third wheel. This time behind Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, and that’s a pecking order which would not change.
Also, Grant has said the fact Detroit had minorities as head coach and general manager helped steer him there. The Wizards do not.
So lets quickly rundown the reasons Jerami Grant would stay with the Detroit Pistons
- Finally allowed to be No. 1 option on offense for first time in career
- Happy with Pistons organization
- He is well-paid. No money issues with contract.
- Excited about Detroit’s future with promising young players.
Reasons he would ask to be traded to Washington Wizards
- See up close his old Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook brick outside shots
- Get a good table at exclusive DC restaurants
- Stand out on team as only one playing defense
- Love of walking among Cherry Blossoms
Could some local friend of Grant told Mayo ‘Hey, Jerami would love to come home’. Sure. But, when you break it down, there seems little reason to expect Grant to go to the Wizards.
To quote Troy Weaver: “No one is untouchable … but some are here to stay.”