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Lakers, Blazers Feature in Latest Jerami Grant Trade Rumors

The Detroit Pistons forward is a highly coveted wing player.

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, February 10. A lot of teams are vying for a better position, shoring up their good seeding, or trying to get out of the fringe. In the advent of the NBA's "play-in-tournament," acquiring a player to improve a team's seeding becomes a much bigger ploy. This is especially significant if a team can roll into the 6th seed. Here is the play-in-tournament rules, per NBA.com.

"At the conclusion of the regular season but before the first round of the playoffs, the team with the 7th-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the 8th-highest winning percentage in a Play-In Game (the “Seven-Eight Game”). The winner of the Seven-Eight Game in each conference will earn the No. 7 seed. The team with the 9th-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the 10th-highest winning percentage in the “Nine-Ten Game”. The loser of the Seven-Eight Game will host the winner of the Nine-Ten Game in a Play-In Game, and the winner of that game in each conference will earn the No. 8 seed."

Teams will try harder to avoid this do-or-die situation. I know I would.

Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant is currently averaging 20 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game. He is a 6'8 forward who can shoot a decent mark from outside the arc, and is a good free-throw shooter for a forward of his size. The rebound numbers aren't terribly good, but he is more of a slasher. The advanced metrics only put him slightly above league average, but his game in the last two seasons has really grown and he would be a perfect fit for a team needing another scoring threat to spread the floor.

Suitors and Fits

According to a report from Shams Charania from The Athletic, there are multiple teams interested in the former 2nd round draft pick.

"Several playoff teams are pursuing Pistons star forward Jerami Grant: The Wizards, Knicks, Blazers and Lakers among others, sources said. Grant is sidelined due to a UCL injury in his right thumb but Detroit will have a vast group of suitors for the 27-year-old. Grant, who is eligible for a four-year extension worth up to $112 million this offseason, is one of the most sought-after players this trade season."

The Lakers scream at the top of that list. They are a team that is drastically underachieving and in need of a shake-up. The Lakers also have the capital to do so. They'd likely have to part with Kendrick Nunn (who hasn't played at all this season) and their young wing Talen Horton-Tucker. 

The Pistons aren't going to give up Grant for less than a prince's purse, as they are holding all the cards. The Portland Trailblazers are the other team reported to be at the top of the interest pile. The Blazers would also likely have to give up a draft pick and a proven NBA player. Portland should be looking to give superstar Damian Lillard a monster extension soon, so a CJ McCollum trade isn't out of the realm of possibility. That's a lot to give up as well, so Grant would need to be a great fit.

Prediction

The Pistons are going to want a lot for Grant. Grant is a solid scorer whose defense may not show in the stat sheet but he is a presence. The thing is, the advanced analytical stats only show Grant as slightly above average as a player. As a scorer he is proven, so a team interested in Grant needs to be committed to seeing Grant as a scorer and wing defender, not necessarily a rebounder. I could see the Trailblazers acquiring Grant, as their team chemistry is all over the place.

As for the Lakers--they're going to fight tooth and nail not to give up Horton-Tucker. The Lakers will only commit to a trade for Grant if they can find a way out of that pickle.