Jerami Grant Showing Major Early Potential For Trail Blazers

Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The first preseason game of 2022 for the Portland Trail Blazers did not result in a win, as they lost to the Utah Jazz 118-101. But, wins and losses aren’t important in the exhibitions. While NBA teams would certainly prefer to win, what is most important is seeing what could be once the regular season rolls around.

For the Trail Blazers, it was their first chance to see their biggest offseason acquisition, Jerami Grant, in action. Grant was acquired from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a 2025 first-round pick via the Milwaukee Bucks and cap space as the Pistons received a trade exception in the deal.

Portland was excited about what Grant would bring to the team as a two-way player and they quickly got a glimpse at what is to come. In the first quarter, Grant blocked a layup attempt by Norman Powell. He grabbed the loose ball, dribbled up the court and then found Nassir Little for an easy slam dunk.

“This is what you guys are going to be seeing from Jerami,” said Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups. “He’s just all over the place, he has those incredible blocks all the time, his size and athleticism is going to really, really stand out for us.”

Grant played 23 minutes in his Portland debut, scoring 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. He also grabbed four rebounds.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Jerami Grant, Damian Lillard & Portland Trail Blazers Updates

His presence in the lineup is something that the Trail Blazers have been seeking out for seasons. They have tried numerous players in the frontcourt but have not received the type of production they were hoping for. That should, hopefully, end with Grant, who is a talented two-way player that can fill numerous roles for the squad.

Star point guard Damian Lillard developed a relationship with Grant during their time playing for Team USA together. He loves what Grant will bring to the table now as teammates on the Blazers.

“He brings something to the table that we just haven’t had,” said Lillard. “You see some of those blocks he had coming from the weakside, those are just high-level, athlete plays. It’s a gift to be able to do that. And then him pushing the ball, getting into the paint, playing above the rim, being able to make threes. Seeing him over the last couple months and coming out tonight, even what he did tonight was productive and it’s going to continue to get better. So I loved what I saw from him.”

LATEST NBA NEWS: Jerami Grant, Damian Lillard & Portland Trail Blazers Updates

Grant offers a ton of versatility for Billups to deploy in many ways. The defense has been a glaring issue in Portland for years, but that should start changing with players such as Grant and Josh Hart in the rotation.

“He covers up a lot of your mistakes defensively,” said Billups. “Offensively, gives you so much athleticism as well and he can play all over the floor. He can handle the ball as well. He just does a lot of good things.”

LATEST NBA NEWS: Jerami Grant, Damian Lillard & Portland Trail Blazers Updates

While Portland may still be a piece or two away from truly contending for an NBA Championship, they are going to be a difficult team to go up against throughout the regular season. They will vie for a playoff spot with a much-improved roster that can get the job done on both ends of the court.

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