As they continue to lay the foundation for rebuilding, would the Portland Trail Blazers be making a mistake by not trading Jerami Grant by the NBA Trade Deadline?
A few months ago, the Portland Trail Blazers made a conscious effort to lean into a rebuild. In trading Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, that decision was final. However, it left a few veterans still on the roster in a difficult spot. One of those players was - and still is - Jerami Grant.
Grant, who just re-signed a big contract extension days before it was reported Lillard demanded a trade and a few months before the Blazers would ultimately grant his request, finds himself on a team that is building for 2-3 years down the line. The problem for Grant is that he's in the midst of his prime years and in 2-3 years, he's unlikely to be the player that he is now. In other words, Grant, at 29 years old, is in a place in his career where he deserves to be on a contending team.
For better or worse, the Blazers can't give him that opportunity right now. Naturally, because of the situation, it leads to the question of whether the Blazers should trade him ahead of the deadline. Grant would be a highly sought-after trade candidate ahead of the deadline due to his flexibility to be an effective player on both ends of the floor. Grant is averaging 23 points and four rebounds on 46 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Grant could theoretically be viewed as a potential final piece for a contender team. However, at least for now, a recent report suggests that it doesn't appear as if the Blazers have any interest in trading Grant.
The question is, would that be considered a mistake?
Should Jerami Grant be on the trade block?
The start of the rebuild hasn't gotten off to a great start for the Blazers. Portland is just 7-19 on the season and their prized rookie Scoot Henderson has been shaky to start his career, and that's putting it nicely. Nevertheless, for one reason or another, Portland is intent on keeping a few veterans around as they continue to make the rebuilding trek.
For several reasons, I have my concerns. For one, there's an argument to be made that Grant's trade value is only going to diminish the more they keep him on the roster. He's not a player that is going to get much better, if at all, at the age of 29, and the fact that he's on pace to have arguably the best season of his career thus far is also a sign the Blazers should pounce on his value on the open market.
It would be shocking if the Blazers didn't trade Grant in the next 1-2 seasons but you can't help but wonder if Portland is missing an opportunity by not making him available now.