Should the Cleveland Cavaliers target Jerami Grant?

Lamar Stevens, Cleveland Cavaliers and Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Lamar Stevens, Cleveland Cavaliers and Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

With the NBA season almost underway, most NBA teams are done with their offseason and are now looking ahead to the preseason and regular season. This could be said for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well. Their offseason was a successful one, as they made a lot of transactions and acquisitions that could definitely put them in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

Plenty of other teams have made interesting moves, and no other team has blown up their roster quite as much as the Portland Trail Blazers. Last season, they were not close to making the playoffs, let alone competing for a title. All-NBA guard Damian Lillard requested a trade and eventually was sent to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Blazers’ roster is still solid. Deandre Ayton, the former first overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, will have a lot more looks than he did in Phoenix. Shaedon Sharpe, Scoot Henderson, and Anfernee Simons will all compete for minutes in the backcourt. Jerami Grant and Malcolm Brogdon are veterans who could be traded between now and the trade deadline all the way in February.

Looking specifically at one player, Jerami Grant is an intriguing player. He signed a massive contract when free agency started, and now that Portland is a rebuilding team, Grant could be on the move.

Could the Cavaliers make a trade with the Trail Blazers?

The Cleveland Cavaliers could definitely be a team to want to trade for Grant, as his versatility and shooting could be a great asset to this Cavs squad. With many believing Evan Mobley is more suited for the full-time center position than the power forward spot, it is reasonable to think that the Cavs might want to target a guy like Grant to fill in the power forward spot.

In theory, the Cavs could even have Grant start at the small forward spot, as that’s the position he primarily played in his rookie season for the Philadelphia 76ers back in the 2014-15 season. The versatile defense of a Jerami Grant, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen frontcourt is dangerous and gives them a lot more height in the starting lineup compared to having Max Strus starting at small forward.

With all of his strengths, why would the Cleveland Cavaliers not want Jerami Grant? Well, let’s talk about the elephant in the room first. He’ll be making $27.5 million this season and that number will rise up to $36.4 million on a player option for the 2027-28 season. Grant is already 29 years old, and he’s not getting any younger and probably won’t progress much, if at all. In five seasons, Grant will be 34 years old, which could be the end of his NBA career.

Getting the money to be able to trade for Grant won’t be easy. Jarrett Allen would be the primary piece in the potential trade, and considering Portland has two starting caliber centers already in Deandre Ayton and Robert Williams III, they wouldn’t want another non-shooting center.

The Cavaliers were listed as a team to potentially target Grant last offseason before the Trail Blazers traded for him. It did not make sense for the Cavs to target him then, and it makes even less sense for them to try and trade for him now.

Given his age and contract, it does not make much sense for the Cavs to try and trade for Jerami Grant. The Cavaliers are going to be cash-strapped soon, as Isaac Okoro is likely a restricted free agent next offseason, Evan Mobley is extension eligible next offseason, and Donovan Mitchell will seemingly be offered a supermax contract as soon as he can. The Cavs will need as much cap flexibility as possible, and they would not be getting that at all with Jerami Grant.

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In a perfect world, yes, the Cavs could target Jerami Grant and get him on their roster. But this is not a perfect world, and it does not make a lot of sense for the Cavaliers to try and trade for Jerami Grant.