Could Nuggets’ Jerami Grant Join Lakers, LeBron James—Anthony Davis in LA ?

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 20: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against Jerami Grant #9 of the Denver Nuggets and Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 20, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Denver Nuggets forward, Jerami Grant surely raised his value in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

A second round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Syracuse, Grant was Denver’s second-leading scorer in Game 3,4 and 5 against in the best-of-seven series and in fact was Denver’s second leading scorer while averaging 21 points per game on 47% shooting.

According to the Denver Post’s Mike Singer, Grant is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract and will become an unresticted free agent this fall.

For those keeing score at home: Grant is due $9.3 million next season.

Grant has career averages of 9.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Grant is the son of retired NBA big man, Harvey Grant, who played had two tours of duties with the Washington Bullets/Wizards and the Portland Trail Blazers. Jerian Grant is also the nephew of Chicago Bulls legend, Horace Grant who is Harvey Grant’s twin brother.

If Jerian Grant decides to opt out of his current contract, the Denver Post’s Mike Singer asserts via a league source that Grant could command anywhere from $14 million to $16 million annually over several years.

Denver has $44 million in salary that will come off the books during the offseason. That includes the contracts of Paul Millsap ($30.3 million) and Mason Plumlee ($14 million) who expire.

With that cap space clear, the Nuggets could realistically pay Grant. But will they?

If not, then who? Would joining the Lakers make sense?

Half-jokingly on Twitter a couple of years ago, I noted that fans should attention to who LeBron James speaks to after games.

 

Why? Some of those players that LBJ speaks to after games could end up becoming his teammates. We’ve seen it in the past with Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, Anthony Davis, Lonzo Ball and ALMOST Carmelo Anthony.

If you’re a conspiracy theorist, James and Grant did have conversation after the Lakers’ 117-107 win over the Nuggets Saturday night.

At that point, the Lakers won the series 4-1, confetti is flying after the Lakers were crowned Western Conference Champions and James pulls Grant to the side for a quick sidebar following the win. Grant scored 20 points and hauled in nine rebounds in the Nuggets loss and despite that, James gave the Maryland native a quick conversation that no one but them knows was discussed.

While the Lakers are preparing for the NBA Finals and will face the winner of the Boston Celtics/Miami Heat Eastern Conference Finals series, LA’s offseason will get interesting.

SB Nation noted last September that there will be a salary cap of $125 million in 2021 and a $16 million increase from last summer’s salary cap. The cap will also raise $7 million next season, but the Lakers won’t have any cap space if they re-sign Anthony Davis to a five-year, max contract worth $34.8 million in the first year.

Assuming Davis re-signs and the four players that have player options — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Avery Bradley, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo — opt in, the Lakers will have roughly $125 million in guaranteed salaries on their books next summer. If Davis doesn’t re-sign, Los Angeles will have just $5 million in dead salary on their books the following summer.

COVID-19’s could change a lot since that article was written by SB Nation and the Lakers have some cogs they’ll need to pay attention to.

LA’s unrestricted free agents include: Dion Waiters, Markieff Morris, Jared Dudley and Dwight Howard.


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