NBA free agency will commence on Friday when teams can start negotiating with players, and the Detroit Pistons should be busy.
Even after picking up team options on Alec Burks and Isaiah Livers, the Pistons will have plenty of cap space to pursue just about any guy on the market.
Rumors suggest that Cameron Johnson may be atop their list of targets, which makes sense, as he is a perfect fit with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey and has a relationship with Monty Williams, his former coach in Phoenix.
But Detroit may also have their eyes on guys like Harrison Barnes, Kyle Kuzma, Austin Reaves, or even former Piston Jerami Grant.
The Grant situation is complicated by the ongoing Damian Lillard saga in Portland, which significantly lowers the chances that he’ll be returning to Detroit.
How the Damian Lillard saga will affect the Detroit Pistons
It seems like an annual tradition to talk about how Lillard wants to compete for titles and isn’t sure if the Trail Blazers have given him enough to do so. After Bradley Beal and John Collins were both traded, Damian Lillard is now the king of NBA trade rumors and The Ringer suggested that Brooklyn and Miami are the most likely destinations.
If Lillard ends up getting traded, then Jerami Grant will almost certainly hit the free-agent market as one of the top guys, as he’s not going to want to stick around on a Portland team that would then be in the first year of a rebuild.
If Lillard stays, Grant will probably re-sign with Portland and run it back, hoping that their combination of young and veteran talent is enough to make them contenders.
Either way, if the Detroit Pistons are really interested in Grant, they are going to have to wait until this Lillard drama is sorted out before making a move, which probably won’t suit their plans. Detroit needs to act quickly in free agency, as all of the teams with money will be competing for a limited pool of guys.
Regardless of how it turns out, if the Lillard saga isn’t concluded quickly, it probably rules out Grant as an option for Detroit, who have other targets and can’t wait around for Lillard to finally make up his mind.