Even after moving CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, and Robert Covington prior to last month’s trade deadline, Portland continued to be linked to Grant in the days and hours leading up to the deadline. Reports at the time indicated that, while they may have been throwing in the towel on this season, the Blazers weren’t necessarily prepared to embark on a lengthy rebuild and hoped to add pieces capable of helping them return to the playoffs in 2022/23.
Grant, who is under contract through next season before becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2023, would be one such piece. The 28-year-old forward is a talented, versatile defender who has expanded his offensive game during his two seasons in Detroit, averaging 21.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 2.6 APG on .427/.352/.842 shooting in 99 total games as a Piston.
Grant will also become eligible for an extension this offseason, and reports prior to the trade deadline suggested he’d want a new team to be willing to offer a new contract, which could be worth up to about $112MM over four years.
Grant will earn a $20,955,000 salary next season. Portland created a $20,864,198 trade exception in the McCollum deal which would theoretically allow them to acquire Grant without sending back any salary, since trade exceptions include $100K in extra wiggle room.
Also as a result of the McCollum trade, the Blazers will receive the Pelicans’ 2022 first-round pick if it falls between No. 5 and No. 14. They’d consider putting that pick into an offer for Grant, Charania reports.
Without the Pelicans’ first-round pick, Portland’s package likely wouldn’t be as strong as what other Grant suitors could offer, according to Charania, whose wording hints that the Blazers may not want to make their own first-rounder available if it’s the only one they have (there would also be complications related to the Stepien rule in that scenario, though the club could work around those issues if necessary).