Here’s why trading for Jerami Grant wouldn’t make much sense for the Celtics

The Celtics have pursued the Pistons forward twice now but are an "unlikely" destination.

Jerami Grant
Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant moves the ball up court in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Give the Celtics credit: They are consistent in their desire to employ Pistons forward Jerami Grant.

Last season, Danny Ainge reportedly offered the Pistons “multiple” first-round picks for the versatile wing prior to the trade deadline, but he was rebuffed.

This year, the Celtics are under new management, but the organization’s desire to add Grant remains. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Celtics are one of several teams who 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.

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


Fischer reported the Celtics are an “unlikely” destination for Grant, which should come as little surprise. The Pistons’ asking price for Grant is awkward for the Celtics: Either two first-round picks (the price the Celtics were reportedly 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 trade value runs the gamut. Romeo Langford, Payton Pritchard, and Aaron Nesmith probably won’t quite cut it. Rob Williams is probably too valuable. How closely have the Pistons been watching Grant Williams bury corner 3-pointers?

Meanwhile, two picks is a tough pill to swallow, especially given how the Celtics have slipped this season. But Grant is 6-foot-8 — the type of versatile size and athleticism every team wants to pursue — and he’s averaging more than 20 points per game. The Pistons will likely get their asking price in some form. If the Celtics really want Grant, they would likely be forced to pony up.

“That’s why nothing’s been done yet,” an assistant general manager told Fischer. “He’s gonna have so many suitors; they’re just gonna wait them all out.”

Grant’s pending free agency is a problem too. He reportedly wants to be in a situation where he can be a primary offensive option, and he left the Nuggets as a free agent in 2020 where he was a tertiary option behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Would he be willing to commit to being a tertiary option behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown?


The possibilities are intriguing if the Celtics did swing a trade for Grant — a lineup of Marcus Smart, Brown, Tatum, Grant, and Robert Williams could be monstrous defensively and a potentially shape-shifting collection of offensive talent. Brad Stevens was, of course, wise to reach out and gauge the market.

But Jerami Grant is not Evan Fournier: He is going to cost significantly more than a second-round pick, and thus losing him in free agency if the situation is untenable would be incredibly costly.

The Celtics are so unsettled at the moment that a major midseason move ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline seems unlikely. A major midseason move that sets them up to potentially lose their new acquisition seems risky to the point of recklessness.

Other trade chatter

– Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics remain completely uninterested in discussing deals for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Anyone else on the roster, however, might be fair game.

“Marcus Smart, some of the young players on the roster, the second or third year guards and forwards, I think they are seeing what the value for those players is out there, Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroder,” Wojnarowski said on NBA Today. “I think those are all players available in the marketplace. They still want to find another playmaker, wing player to complement the two All-Star forwards.”


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

“His phone is ringing off the hook and vice versa,” Udoka said on Tuesday after practice. “So you’re not going to obviously talk about everything that teams talk about. Some things that aren’t realistic but anything that’s starting to possibly have an impact, obviously, we’ll talk about it and run through some things.”


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