Pros and cons of Cavs potentially trading for Pistons’ Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant is one of the best players in the league, ranking 56th overall in the NBA’s top 100 ranking, according to CBS Sports. Grant has been known as a solid defender and good scorer for the Detroit Pistons these past two seasons, and could definitely help the Cavs with their small forward and power forward play, as their starting small forward as of now is Lauri Markkanen, and can be upgraded.

According to a report from Evan Dammarell of Fear The Sword and Right Down Euclid, he could foresee the Cleveland Cavaliers potentially acquiring Jerami Grant via trade this offseason:

“On one hand, they could always package those picks, along with the contracts of someone like Lauri Markkanen or Caris LeVert, along with a future first, to get a player that could provide more of an immediate impact. Sources say that Detroit’s Jerami Grant could be a realistic trade target this summer. It just depends on whether or not the Cavaliers are willing to sweeten the pot compensation-wise. That’s where those two-second rounders could become key – they could be just enough to push a hypothetical trade for Grant over the finish line.”

Jerami Grant has been a very good player for Detroit this past few seasons, averaging 20.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 blocks per night, playing 101 games in 2 seasons for the Pistons. Grant has been a great player for the Pistons for the past 2 seasons, being arguably the best player on the roster since Blake Griffin or Andre Drummond (which isn’t saying much but is still good).

He’s known as a solid defender, great scorer, and solid playmaker for a wing player, but is all of that justified? It could just be empty stats on a bad roster, considering that his best season before coming to Detroit saw him average 12.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists on the Denver Nuggets for one season. However, he was not the first scoring option, as the Nuggets had a healthy Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and a future two-time MVP in Nikola Jokic, making Grant primarily the 4th scoring option on the team.

Pros

According to StatMuse, the Detroit Pistons have a defensive rating of 113.6 with Grant on the floor, compared to a 116.3 without him. The Pistons are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, having the 26th best defense overall. He also had a 16.1 PER, one of the best on the Pistons roster. He did also average 22.3 points only one year ago, and had a defensive rating of 108.3 in 2019. He also gives some versatility to the roster, being able to defend big men and wings, as he has solid perimeter and interior defense for someone who is only 6″8.

Cons

To be honest, I could not really find a lot of pros for why the Cavs should make a trade for Jerami Grant. According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pistons sought out two first-round picks at the last trade deadline for Grant, making him a very pricey player for someone who has never made an All-Star team. C.J. McCollum could only warrant one first-round pick last trade deadline, and in my opinion McCollum is a better player than Grant.

Also, Grant’s defense has slipped over the past few years. The average defensive rating this season was 106.9, according to StatMuse, and Grant’s rating this season was 114.3. Grant has been known to be a good defender in previous years, but statistics do show that he has regressed on that end since signing with Detroit. According to Basketball Reference Grant’s Defensive Box Plus/Minus was negative.

Offensively, he has been a great player, according to fans. However, per StatMuse, the Pistons’ offensive rating was worse when Grant was on the floor, versus when he was off. When he was playing the Pistons had an offensive rating of 105.6, compared to 108.5 with Grant on the bench. Also, his true shooting percentage and effective field goal percentage are below league average. His true shooting percentage was the 120th best in the league. He had just 2.3 win shares, tied with George Hill, Jordan McLaughlin, and Cleveland’s very own Dean Wade.

Also, per a report from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer back in January, it was said that Grant wanted an extension in the ballpark of four years and $112 million with the Pistons this offseason, averaging out to be $28 million over those four years. Cleveland has to re-sign Darius Garland to a hefty contract, Collin Sexton is a free agent this offseason, Jarrett Allen is making $20 million, Kevin Love has another year around $30 million, and Caris LeVert might sign a contract extension. So Cleveland is going to be cash strapped pretty soon, so adding another big contract would not be a great idea. To make the contracts work, chances are, the Cavs would have to give up Lauri Markkanen in this trade.

In conclusion, I believe adding Jerami Grant to this roster is not a good idea at all, considering his advanced stats and financial implications. Grant is a very great player, don’t get me wrong, but I am not sure if he would fit very well on the Cavs’ roster at this time.