Jerami Grant, Nikola Vucevic Among Celtics’ Targets

Pistons forward Jerami Grant is among the Celtics‘ top trade targets, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic. According to Charania, the C’s and the Hornets are also among the teams interested in Magic center Nikola Vucevic.

It comes as no surprise that Grant and Vucevic would appeal to Boston. Grant has enjoyed a career year in Detroit so far, boosting his scoring average to 23.4 PPG in an expanded offensive role. Vucevic is playing the best basketball of his career too, averaging 24.6 PPG and 11.6 RPG on .483/.412/.851 shooting and earning his second All-Star berth for Orlando.

Both players also have salaries that would fit into the Celtics’ $28.5MM trade exception. Grant is earning $19MM, while Vucevic has a $26MM cap hit.

However, the odds of the Celtics actually acquiring either player before this year’s deadline seem slim, for multiple reasons. For one, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has been averse to making major moves at the deadline over the years — since acquiring Isaiah Thomas at the 2015 deadline, his lone in-season trade has been a salary-dump of Jabari Bird in 2019.

Additionally, while the Pistons and Magic are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, Grant and Vucevic are under contract for multiple years and appear to be cornerstone pieces for their respective teams.

Grant, who joined the Pistons in part because he wanted to play for a Black head coach and a Black GM, was the team’s top target in the offseason. According to James Edwards III of The Athletic, Detroit appears to have no interest in moving the 26-year-old, despite receiving interest and trade offers from several teams. Grant “embodies everything Detroit wants its culture to be about,” according to Edwards, who says the forward seems likely to stick with the team for as long as he wants to.

As for Vucevic, Charania says that rival teams believe any trade involving the big man would have to feature a “massive” return for the Magic. Vucevic also told Charania that there’s “something special” about being with the same franchise for a long and building a legacy there, which suggests he has no plans to ask the Magic to move him anytime soon.

If the Celtics do attempt to push for either player, they could offer an appealing combination of draft picks, salary relief, and prospects with upside, though they don’t have an up-and-coming young player who would be the obvious headliner of such a package.

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62 thoughts on “Jerami Grant, Nikola Vucevic Among Celtics’ Targets

  1. Ironmonger835

    Celtics should offer Langford, Nehsmith, Grant Williams and two first round picks for Grant. Not sure Detroit would take it tho.

    • Corporal Foxtrot

      Why not Kemba for Aquaman’s double, Reddick and picks? Then the pels can trade Lonzo and Bledsoe.

      • Ironmonger835

        I know. In case they just want some draft picks. I don’t think they’re close to contending for a while. By the time they’re ready Grant will be up for free agency again. Going full rebuild might be their best option.

        • kzoobrewcrew

          You clearly haven’t seen any games. They have been competitive in all but a couple games this season. They are clearly a team headed in the right direction and tue thought of them dealing Grant is a pipe dream.

    • I Beg To Differ

      Nesmith is a good start for Grant, but Boston will need to include multiple 1st round picks, which Detroit should do if they get multiple firsts and pick swaps. Grants having a career year. Sell high and stock pile picks like the Thunder so you can go after someone you need when you figure out who’s sticking around long term from the young guys.

  2. Corporal Foxtrot

    The magic have no intention to deal Vucevic and I’m pretty sure the pistons have no desire to trade Jeremy Grant either.

    • Exactly. Why would the Magic or the Pistons want to trade what is good about their team?

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Why would Pistons trade a budding star making 19 mill a yr. Who is only 27 yrs old. Pistons get Mobley in daft. They have a solid young core. Grant, Bey, Stewart, Hayes, Doumbouya and Mobley and yes DSJ

      • I Beg To Differ

        Grants having a career year. I’d sell high. They could always resign him in 2 years if he’s sustained that level of production and want him back.

        Young players, draft assets, and potentially resigning him or locking up long term talent in 2 years definitely seems to be a better move in the long run.

        • Pistons have a roster of young players and will get a nice lottery pick in a good draft this season, also grant wants to play for a black head coach and gm, pistons can trade delon if they want more picks, you can’t draft jerami grant at 27th overall in the next draft, do you guys read the articles or just comment?

          • I Beg To Differ

            Question: where did I say it’d cost JUST 1 first round pick in my comment?

            Answer: I didn’t.

            Did you just assume what I meant and based your comment off that? So your reading comprehension isn’t very good.

            Assets is the plural of asset. Meaning more than 1 in case you were confused how many picks, again plural, I was talking about.

          • Agree with you. Keep Grant and Wright. Pistons will have a lot of young talented athletic players and a very high draft pick. Best to do nothing. Would be nice to do a buy out with Griffin but that may be difficult. Griffin would have to cooperate. Hard for someone to walk away from almost $39 million dollars (Griffin’s contract for 2021-2022).

        • dirtybird

          No he is having a breakout year, not a career year, big difference. He wouldn’t come back in 2 years after we traded him the same year he signed here.

          Boston’s young players look so so at best and no one that looks like a cornerstone or will turn into one. I used to think Ainge was a great GM but he can’t really draft if it isn’t top 5.

    • buttholesurfer69

      I agree Detroit probably wouldn’t move Grant unless they get a great offer, which Boston is incapable of making them

      • Ironmonger835

        Nobody gonna mention this dude’s name is buttholesurfer69? Okay. Lol

        • buttholesurfer69

          @Iron I picked a name that I thought would tell people I’m here to do serious NBA analysis

  3. Doubt the Pistons entertain a trade for their prize FA addition. They signed him well aware that they were in rebuilding mode. Vucevic, perhaps, but without Tatum or Brown, what could they offer? Another Godfather offer of secondary assets? Why bother?

    • I Beg To Differ

      Picks and pick swaps.

      Nesmith would be a good replacement for Fournier whos a FA I believe.

      Nesmith and a bundle of 1sts and pick swaps would be a good starting point.

      They can also ship out Fournier instead of potentially losing him for nothing.

      • Since they’re not shopping him, as far as anyone can tell, the comp has to be more than just reasonable. Celtics picks don’t figure to be that great (their best players are young), and their young role players also don’t have much value. If Magic are disposed to discuss it, they should insist on 4 unprotected 1st’s (2021, 23, 25 and 27) as the base comp, with Vuce going into the TPE. There may still be better offers out there.

  4. stevep-4

    There has not been a surprising dearth of white GMs. Grant comes from a basketball family, and may see it as a way of helping a black GM have success and pave the way for more.

    This is similar to the “black head coach” or “black quarterback” anomalies in the NFL years ago. Striking by its absence in light of the pool of qualified candidates. The NFL case seems quaint now, but once was an obvious oversight.

    So, no, not “reverse racism”, just acknowledgment of and support for someone forging a path.

    • stevep-4

      And apparently the comment to which I responded was removed. Way to stop open discussion.

    • buttholesurfer69

      I respect Grant’s option to play wherever he wants for whatever reason he wants

      But, I don’t know, in a league where all the top earners (the players) are disproportionately black it seems like an odd anomaly to highlight.

    • hiflew

      I appreciate that statement. I am not against supporting the rise of African American in ALL professions. Although I will disagree with you idea of “reverse racism” altogether. There is no such thing as reverse racism, it’s all just racism. The idea that general racism is exclusive to one race only is one of the more racist ideas I have ever heard.

      The way I determine racism is always to take any statement and reverse the races. If black is the adjective of the person, I change it to white and vice versa. If neither statement causes me distress, I don’t consider it racist. But if either one angers me, I do. Not a perfect solution to the problem, but it works for me.

  5. hiflew

    Thanks for proving me correct about deleting my comment which I made sure did not break any of your guidelines. I really enjoy reading and commenting on this site, but if you are not going to abide by your own rules, then I’ll just spend my time elsewhere.

  6. Julian Lemus

    Trade away Jayson Tatum pistons or magic is not wanting to get bench players that want something big Jayson Tatum is a bust the reason why is cause he made the ecf so many times and lost he chockes in the playoffs never clutch last week they were 9th seed

    • emarque

      Last week they were a ninth seed this week their a 4th seed. So by your idiotic logic Harden,Embid, Lillard,Beal, Giannis,Doncic, to name a few must be a bust since they’ve never won a chip for their team?

      • Julian Lemus

        Did jayson Tatum chock in the playoffs yes was he reliable when someone got shut down no did he give kyrie any help no also saying that harden is a bust embiid Giannis and Luka is a bust umm do u not watch the nba they are the reason why we are watching those guys we are staying up late to watch those guys go on YouTube search up jayson Tatum overrated there will be many videos saying he is a a bust and overrated and saying I’m an idiot umm u should really watch the nba more cause saying harden is a bust everyone will make fun of u for saying that harden is a bust did harden never gave up after bam blocked tatums dunk jayson just gave up luka was getting destroyed by the clippers did he give up no he made a buzzer beater shot

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Tatum vs Heat last yr playoffs .
      26.5 pts 9.8 reb, 6.3 ast, led All players in mins 42.1
      Bam stats ————
      21.8 pts, 11 reb, 5.2 ast. 39.1 mins led Heat players.
      Butler stats ———-
      19 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast, 38.4 mins a gm.
      Those are Heat best two players in last yrs playoffs. Neither one is close to Tatum production.

      • Julian Lemus

        In 50 years you think someone will remember that for example AD had a triple double nobody is gonna remember that is all about who wins the championship that year

  7. case7187

    This will be Danny’s excuse for why he didn’t make a trade or help this team win by going after players who aren’t even available instead of ones that are like Drummond, Aldridge and Collins

  8. Julian Lemus

    If Tatum was so good he would have won the NBA Finals last season he chocked against the heat bam shut him down

      • Julian Lemus

        He’s when kyrie got shut down by giannis in the playoffs did Tatum do anything no and people that said Tatum just needs help he has Jaylen and Kemba when they got shut down did jayson do anything no just got blocked and embarrassed by bam a 10th seed can beat a 1st seed bam only had 21 ppg but still managed to get passed through the celtics the seeds are nothing a 7th seed can make the finals that is what make the playoffs interesting

    • He ‘chocked’? Did someone stuff him under the Heat’s tires to try and slow them down?

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    Piston not moving Grant. Magic not moving Vucevic. Celtics don’t need a major trade the just need a tweak. McGee would help a lot. Horford would help even more. Aldridge would help a lot. All could be had cheaper. Kemba is their own doing. They signed him. They didn’t get him healthy. Now they let him take blame. I think teams would take Kemba. Bulls n Knicks can use him. Clippers too even Mavs

    • Ironmonger835

      Bulls do not need another shoot first guard who plays no defense, especially one making that much money. They need to resign Lavine and Markkanen.

      • Julian Lemus

        Resign Lavine? Ummmmmm ok lauri is a bust Zach is the only one doing everything and he just needs another shooter like Lowry and the bulls will be fine if they get a guy like Lowry that is gonna help Zach a lot

    • Mmcrae

      Big Al’s a great role player but that contract has the weight of a neutron star. No way you can pay him 27 million plus in his 37th year!

      • illowa

        it’s only a minor trade, not a “major” one, so it shouldn’t be a problem with that kind of salary to get it done. like aldridges too.

  10. KPHED 2

    Not sure why this article was even written by Shams when it seems clear that neither team, and neither player, seems even a little into a trade. I’d love either on Boston but like…it ain’t happening.

  11. Julian Lemus

    Boston is not going to the finals or ecf there gonna be destroyed in the 2nd round

  12. hook316

    Celtics make zero sense. Drummond is perfect fit. Makes 28m. Celtics have 28m exception. Celtics need help on middle. Drummond a reb/stls/blk machine and can score points. Take away FT he’s a perfect fit. It makes so much sense. Drummond wouldn’t cost much either as Cavs just want him gone. I mean… COME ON DANNY AINGE!!

  13. buttholesurfer69

    Grant is a major stretch

    Vooch is also a stretch but at least possible. If I was Orlando I’d be open to moving anyone really. I question whether Boston has the goods to get him, but maybe if they throw the kitchen sink they could get him

    Does that make them a contender though? Eh.

  14. El Don

    Grant should be cheap for any team to get… but don’t think he wants to go, so no point there.
    Vucevic don’t wanna go neither, but in any case he wouldn’t come cheap, I mean for BOS to get him, they need to give JB or JT plus multiple 1st rounds, as he is a better player than anyone in a BOS uniform, only think might be his age, otherwise…

    • Mmcrae

      There is no possible way that Grant is worth either of Boston’s young stars! And you think that they would need multiple 1st rounders plus???
      Please explain!

      • El Don

        I said Grant ain’t that good, so he can be had cheaply… now Vucevic would be clearly the best player in BOS so you have to give back an AS player & multiple 1st rounders!
        For Grant you don’t give any star or any 1st rounders, got it now Marty!

    • Curtisrowe

      Tatuma and multiple firsts for Vucevic. This whole thread is literally chock full of serious basketball wisdom.

  15. rusty.coqbern

    Since Trader Danny has fleeced franchises in the past, we have to deal with some bias amongst other franchises who don’t want to do business with Ainge (unless absolutely necessary).

  16. Painter33

    Given Ainge’s draft history and their likely draft positions for the next 5 years, they should trade every 1st round pick for one useful player. Ainge can’t pick past #6, so the picks are useless to Ainge. Or, just dump Danny.

  17. Painter33

    Though unlikely, Ainge should go all in on KAT, move him to PF to lighten his load, and give up a bunch of 1st rd picks plus a few bench players, as the premium would be the picks. Boston is 26th in the League in salaries, so they have room for KAT. But all of Boston’s teams have gone the “cheap-out” route in the last two years, so why think Ainge would spend ANY dough?

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