Why trading for Jerami Grant wouldn’t make much sense for the Celtics


The Celtics have followed the Pistons forward twice now, but they’ve become an “unlikely” destination.

Jeramy Grant

Detroit Pistons forward Jeramy Grant moves the ball onto the court in the first inning of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans. Associated Press photo/Gerald Herbert

Give the Celtics team credit: They’re steadfast in their desire to hire Pistons forward Jerami Grant.

Last season, Danny Ainge was reported to have offered the Pistons “multiple” first-round picks for the versatile wing before the trade deadline, but was turned down.

This year, the Celtics team is undergoing new management, but the organization’s desire to add Grant remains. According to Jake Fisher of Bleacher Report, the Celtics are one of several teams that reached out to the Pistons regarding Grant following a report that the Pistons offered the Sixers a package that included Grant in exchange for Ben Simmons.

Bear Fisher, other teams included the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Knicks, Jazz, Wizards, Pacers, Timberwolves and Kings.

Fisher mentioned the Celtics as an “unlikely” destination for Grant, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The price the Pistons are asking for Grant is embarrassing for the Celtics: either two first-round picks (the price the Celtics were willing to pay last year) or a first-round pick and a promising young player. The Celtics have a lot of young players, but their commercial value stretches far and wide. Romeo Langford, Peyton Pritchard, and Aaron Nesmith probably won’t quite be able to. Rob Williams is perhaps of great value. How far did the Pistons watch Grant Williams bury his three-pointers?

Meanwhile, there are two options that are hard to swallow, especially given how the Celtics have slipped this season. But Grant is 6-foot-8 – the kind of versatile size and athletic performance every team wants to pursue – and averages more than 20 points per game. The pistons will likely get the asking price in some form. If the Celtics really wanted Grant, they would likely have to pony up.

“That’s why nothing has been done yet,” Assistant General Manager Fisher said. “He will have many suitors; they will just wait for them all to come out.”

Grant’s free agency pending is also a problem. Reportedly wanting to be in a position where he could be a primary offensive option, he left the Nuggets as a free agent in 2020 as he was a third choice behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Will he be willing to commit to being a third-tier option behind Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown?

The odds are interesting if the Celtics swing a deal in Grant’s favour – a lineup of Marcus Smart, Brown, Tatum, Grant and Robert Williams could be brutal in defense and a host of potential offensive talent. Brad Stevens, of course, was judicious in reaching and measuring the market.

But Jerami Grant is not Evan Fournier: It would cost a lot more than a second-round pick, so losing him in free agency if the situation was unsustainable would be very costly.

The Celtics are so unstable at the moment that a major mid-season move before the February 10 trading deadline seems unlikely. A big move mid-season that makes them lose their new acquisition looks risky to the point of recklessness.

Other Business Talks

– According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics are still completely uninterested in discussing deals for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. However, everyone else on the list might be honest.

“Marcus Smart, some of the young players on the roster, guards and forwards in the second or third year, I think they see the value of these players, Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroeder,” Wojnarowski told NBA Today. “I think these are all players available in the market. They still want to find another playmaker, a winger to complement their all-star strikers.”

Bear Celtics coach Amy Odoka, Stevens’ phone rang “probably 10 times” after a recent game. Odoka suggested that trade calls involving the Celtics are a two-way street.

“His phone is ringing fast and vice versa,” Odoka said on Tuesday after training. “So obviously you’re not going to talk about everything the teams talk about. Some things are unreal but anything that might have an impact, obviously we’re going to talk about and go through some things.”

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