February 10th is right around the corner as the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline is fast approaching. For some teams, like Christmas, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For other teams, it’s a mad scramble to right the wrongs of the past, or set up a better future. The Los Angeles Lakers are probably in between those two sides. Many names have been linked to the Lakers this season. Some of them include Myles Turner, Gary Trent Jr., and even John Wall. However, the best and most realistic option for the Lakers would probably be the Pistons’ Jerami Grant.
The 6’8 forward known as the prototype “3&D” guy has been at the top of their wishlist. Grant left the Denver Nuggets in free agency during the summer of 2020 to establish himself as a guy that lead a team. He jumped from averages of 12 points per game to 22 points over his last two seasons with the Detroit Pistons.
The Lakers have an ideal package that could be constructed to nab Grant. That includes Kendrick Nunn, Talen Horton-Tucker, and their 2027 first-round draft pick. As of now, it appears that the team may be looking at other deals. Bleacher Reports’ Eric Pincus spoke with 19 Media Group’s Alex Ramić during the NBA Chats podcast about their interest (h/t Ralph Mason).
Pincus: “I’ve actually heard Lakers have passed on Jerami Grant. He doesn’t want to play a tertiary role behind Bron/AD. Lakers would also have to invest big money (extension) in him” https://t.co/HUPYHE4f9L
— Ralph Mason (@Ralph_MasonJr) January 25, 2022
Pincus seems to indicate that the Lakers have given up on pursuing Grant, whether it’s due to the role he wants or the large contract extension that the team will almost certainly not be able to accomodate. There were no formal offers of Grant to the Lakers, but it appears that the Lakers realize that Grant has both preferred destinations and a specific role, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:
“He still wants to sign a contract extension this summer,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his Hoop Collective podcast. “If he gets traded somewhere, he wants to get traded somewhere he’s going to get paid.
I was told his representation came to the Pistons and said, ‘If you’re going to trade him, here’s a list of teams we would be interested in going to play for.”
For what it’s worth, things could definitely change in 15 days as the Lakers could re-enter the Grant sweepstakes. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer still had the Lakers in the mix for Grant, but that list continues to grow as the Hawks and Kings have joined the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Knicks, Jazz, and Timberwolves as interested parties.
However, if Pincus’ report is true, looks like Jerami Grant wants to continue having a big role, and that’s something that’s a stretch as a Laker. The return of Anthony Davis and continued dominance by LeBron James leaves little responsibility for Grant, if acquired. We haven’t even discussed the contributions of Russell Westbrook to the trio. It’s a lot to have to balance, despite his addition giving them the wing they solely desire.
As stated, we still have a lot of time until the trade deadline. Things could change for everyone by then. If the Lakers are fortunate to swing the move eventually, it’d be an upgrade that will help them meet those early season expectations.