Players with the potential to average 20 or more points a game are talents that the Toronto Raptors normally should pursue to make their roster more potent. However, with the trade deadline approximately one month away, should Toronto consider making a move for Jerami Grant?
The Detroit Pistons are 14th out of 15 teams in the East this year. With only a handful of wins this season, they are a team likely to sell before this season’s trade deadline. Grant, a potential All-Star in the right scheme, may be made available to teams interested in a player of his caliber.
Contenders are inquiring about Grant, according to the latest buzz. The Raptors, who are white-hot in 2022 now that everyone has started to get healthy, are in the thick of the playoff picture in the East.
For the second straight season in Detroit, Grant is averaging over 20 points a game at 20.1, and could provide a trade partner of Detroit with an additional scoring option to make a playoff run.
But is he the answer for the Raptors?
Should the Toronto Raptors consider adding Jerami Grant?
Grant, a former Syracuse Orangeman, was a second-round pick in 2014 by the Philadelphia 76ers. It took eight years and four teams, but Grant has worked his way up and became a dominant scoring option in the league. Last year, his first in Detroit, he averaged 22.3 points per game
In Toronto, he would add to the collection of lean and long wing players Raptors management loves. At 6-8 inches and 210 pounds, he is versatile enough to defend multiple positions which is a top priority for the Raptors.
According to his former head coach in Denver, Mike Malone:
"“He’s a guy that I’ve long thought very highly of. What stands out to me is his size, his wingspan, length and improved shooting. Watching film, he’s guarded Damian Lillard, James Harden, Anthony Davis, the guy can guard anybody, I think that versatility is exciting”."
A career 34.6% three-point shooter Grant would be consistent enough to keep defenses honest when he’s used as a stretch-four forward.
A trade for Jerami Grant may not be useful for the Raptors.
Yet, as accomplished as Grant has become, there are flaws surrounding his game that would hamper the Raptors’ franchise. One major concern is that Toronto needs a true big man, especially a big who can rebound at the defensive end of the court. Grant would not fit the bill.
Grant wouldn’t help that much in that area, and considering the assets that would be required to trade for him, Masai Ujiri would be well within his rights to leave this trade alone.
Another concern would be the fact that adding Grant makes finding minutes for everyone more difficult. This may hamper the development of Scottie Barnes. Toronto is going to have to give away multiple key parts of their rotation to make this happen, which would eviscerate their depth.
Finally, in the second year of a $60 million contract, Toronto would be acquiring Grant for about a season and a half before he is a free agent again. At age 27, Raptors management would need to assess if Grant would be worth locking up with tons of money.
If the answer is no, they would need to mortgage a part of their future for a 1.5-year rental. Let’s steer clear of this one.
His acquisition would have to be made with other transactions to supplement what he cannot provide. Grant shouldn’t be dismissed by Raptors’ management if he’s available at a discounted price at any point, but If there are better trade scenarios available they should be investigated first.