NBA executive drops reality check regarding rumored Lakers trade target Jerami Grant

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

One Western Conference executive emphasized a harsh reality that the Portland Trail Blazers will face if they try to trade forward Jerami Grant to a team like the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.

The Lakers have interest in Grant, according to Lakers Daily’s Anthony Irwin and other reports, but L.A. may not be willing to meet the asking price from Portland.

According to the executive, the Blazers need to recognize that teams aren’t going to give up a ton for Grant.

“Jerami Grant can play, he is a shooter, he is a good, active defender when he is engaged, he is going to do a lot of things that help your team,” the executive told “But he is a third option. He has some big numbers the last few years, but he has done it on terrible teams. No one is going to make a big trade for a guy who gives you 20 (points) on a bad team and 13 (points) on a good one.

“Not with his contract. He is going to make $30 (million) next year $32 the year after that. Then he has two more years. You can’t pay your third option $34, 35 million. If Portland wants the Lakers, the [Miami] Heat, any of these teams to take him, they’ve got to recognize that.”

Grant signed a five-year, $160 million deal with Portland ahead of the 2023-24 season. He’s under contract through the 2026-27 season and has a player option for the 2027-28 season that is for north of $36 million, according to Spotrac.

The Lakers are already paying major salaries to their two best players – All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis – so it may be hard for them to justify bringing in Grant at a high salary, especially if they need to give up valuable assets to get him.

With the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) instituting penalties for teams that exceed certain salary thresholds (the first and second apron), it makes decisions around adding high salary players even tougher, especially if they aren’t proven stars.

Grant has never made an All-Star team during his NBA career, but he has averaged at least 19.2 points per game in each of his last four seasons while playing for the Detroit Pistons and the Blazers.

It’s unclear how Grant’s numbers would look if he played a smaller role in a team’s offense – like he would in Los Angeles – since he has not been on a playoff team since the 2019-20 season when he was with the Denver Nuggets.

For the Lakers, it may not be worth moving draft capital or a solid young player like Austin Reaves to take on the financial commitment of Grant, even if the front office believes that such a move would improve the roster.

If the Lakers don’t pursue Grant, players like Gary Trent Jr. and Spencer Dinwiddie could be possible targets in free agency after James took a discount while re-signing with L.A.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.