For the second consecutive season, the Boston Celtics are believed to be aggressively seeking a talented third piece to play off the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. And for the second consecutive season, those desires appear to have led towards the Cs knocking on the door of Pistons GM Troy Weaver in hopes of prying Jerami Grant away from the Motor City.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, Boston is among a handful of clubs to have inquired about trading for the 27-year-old forward, who one team strategist dubbed “the grand prize of this deadline.” Other potential suitors to have signaled interest in Grant include the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Knicks, Jazz, Wizards, Pacers, Timberwolves and Kings.
Detroit is said to be seeking two first-round rounds or one first-round selection and a “high upside young player” in exchange for Grant’s services.
Grant Trending Towards Return
Grant, who is in the second year of a three-year, $60 million deal, is averaging 20.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this season for the Pistons. Sidelined since mid-December after undergoing surgery to repair the UCL in his right thumb, Grant was assigned to the G League’s Motor City Cruise on January 17 to begin on-court work, per The Athletic’s James Edwards.
There remains no set return date for Grant at this time. Although the team did previously state their plans to re-evaluate their star forward’s status six weeks following his surgery, via Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix. That timeline could theoretically put him on track to return to Detroit’s lineup — or another team’s lineup — in late January to early February.
As noted above, the Celtics aggressively pursued a trade to acquire Grant last season. Per Edwards, the then Danny Ainge-led regime in Boston reportedly offered up multiple first-round picks to the Pistons in hopes of acquiring Grant, albeit to no prevail.
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Grant’s Fit With the Celtics
While Grant may not be the knockdown shooter that many fans are eyeing at the deadline — a career-34.6% shooter from beyond the arc — he’s still highly versatile and arguably the most realistic top-level player on the market this trade season. And one that could theoretically help take the Celtics from a .500 team to a borderline contender.
Of course, a move to Boston would mean sliding into a third-star role behind the likes of Brown and Tatum for Grant, who not so long ago jettisoned Denver because he didn’t want to be a secondary option. A shift in hierarchy could take some time for Grant to get used to. Maybe the fact that he played alongside Tatum for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics could help ease the transition.
Beyond that, Grant isn’t as young as the 25-and-under duo of Tatum and Brown. Still, set to turn 28 years old on March 12, he fits into the theoretical title contention window that the Celtics boast as long as the two Jays remain in town.
Having said all that, should Boston envision Grant as part of their immediate future, they may want to be a bit more urgent in their pursuit of him or run the risk of losing him to a conference rival, via Fischer:
Several league personnel view Washington as a favorite to land Grant. He hails from the D.C. area, his father Harvey played for the franchise from 1988-93 and again from 1996-98. The Wizards’ first-year head coach Wes Unseld Jr. also coached Grant as an assistant with the Nuggets.