The 2022 NBA Draft is only one day away, and the Detroit Pistons and Portland Trail Blazers have already made headlines with a deal centered around Jerami Grant. Grant was just traded to the Blazers for the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2025 first-round pick, which is protected 1-4. This trade marks what will likely be the first of many in the next 24-36 hours and may not even be the last move that Portland makes. The Blazers are officially on “John Collins watch” with the seventh pick, and what a turnaround that would be for a team that looked hopeless last season.
Jerami Grant Trade
On Wednesday evening, Detroit moved its second-best player in Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers for Milwaukee’s 2025 first-round draft pick. This trade fully displays the significant difference between the media’s opinion on what Grant was worth and the reality. Rumors have swirled over the past several days that Grant might be moved for the No. 7 overall pick in this year’s draft. Clearly, that was never much of a conversation between both teams, as Milwaukee’s first-rounder in 2025 is most likely of substantially less value than the seventh pick this season. Giannis, Khris Middleton, and the rest of the Bucks should still be playing at an elite level in the 2024-25 season, so this pick could fall between 25-30.
Detroit has traded Jerami Grant to Portland for 2025 first-round pick via Milwaukee, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 22, 2022
Portland and Detroit Impact
This type of move makes me firmly believe that Portland is committed to keeping Damian Lillard and building through him. The primary question throughout this past season that surrounded the Portland Trail Blazers was whether or not they would blow up the team; that answer is now crystal clear. Portland did, however, make a suspect trade with Los Angeles before the trade deadline that gave the Clippers Norman Powell and Robert Covington in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, and a 2025 second-rounder. Perhaps, this trade was primarily to ensure that the Blazers would tank the rest of the season, but that didn’t seem to work out as they merely landed the seventh pick. Regardless, Portland could put a competitive team on the floor next year after this move and while it is still far from being a championship club, it is a move in the right direction. There’s even still a possibility of trading for a player like John Collins with the seventh pick, which would be quite the haul. Portland would then be scary.
Detroit has tried to boost Jerami Grant’s stock for a while, but to no avail; Portland was able to acquire Grant for far less than what the Pistons had been demanding. However, this move did clear up cap space for the Pistons and could allow them to make a few moves in free agency. The question at hand is whether or not having that extra cap space will be worth it. Detroit is not exactly most free agents’ preferred destination and to grab somebody that could make this move worth it would require the Pistons to overpay. Regardless, this pick does seem to indicate that Detroit could be eyeing Keegan Murray with the fifth pick.