Mavs Among Trade Suitors Linked To Blazers’ Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Trade Rumors
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

As the NBA Draft nears, veteran players emerge as trade candidates. With the Portland Trail Blazers early in the rebuilding process, Jerami Grant appears to be a clear name to monitor.

The Dallas Mavericks are one of several teams that have inquired about Grant, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. Other teams were not named in this report.

Grant played only 54 games this season, averaging 21.0 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 40.2 percent from beyond the arc. He was one of the most efficient spot-up players in the NBA this season, with an apparent proficiency operating out of the corners without having an elite playmaker to benefit from while being a threat to attack off the dribble.

The 30-year-old forward signed a $160 million contract to return to Portland last summer. However, his tenure with the Blazers appeared uncertain almost immediately after Damian Lillard requested a trade shortly after Grant’s signing, significantly changing the team’s short-term outlook.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks Updates

Lillard’s trade request was eventually granted, and Portland ended the season with a 21-61 record in the first year of its rebuild. Considering Portland’s current state, Grant is likely available for the right offer. He would be a better fit as a secondary scoring option on a playoff-bound team, making him an attractive asset for such franchises.

Many around the NBA view Grant’s contract as becoming more manageable in the coming years due to the league’s rising salary cap. His $33 million average salary over the next four seasons might appeal more to general managers than signing a similar or slightly better forward in free agency. For instance, Pascal Siakam recently secured a four-year, $189.5 million deal with the Indiana Pacers.

The Mavericks need more talent on the wing, considering Luka Doncic commands arguably the most aggressive defensive coverages in the NBA. Kyrie Irving struggled to transcend the Boston Celtics’ defense even when they guarded straight up while being neutralized by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference semifinals. Having another capable threat to attack off the dribble on the wing could help change the landscape of those situations.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks Updates

Some of the schematic problems the Mavericks could solve for themselves include making it far more challenging for a team to crossmatch the four and five spot. The opposition would often do this against Derrick Jones Jr. since he’s an inconsistent shooting option who isn’t going to have much ran for him while being a real threat in those situations. Grant is a more fearful option for a defense, and putting a center on him as a base matchup is asking for problems.

Another benefit for the Mavericks would be the ability to offensively deploy small ball lineups with better personnel. Playing a five-out offense with Grant and Washington on the wing to attack the defense could change the dimensions of the situation. Olivier-Maxence Prosper would become a potential name to watch in this scenario. If he isn’t traded in a deal to acquire Grant, Dallas would have three big wings to put out next to Doncic and Irving.

The Mavericks have communicated a desire to re-sign Jones this summer as a “priority 1A and 1B,” with general manager Nico Harrison communicating a likelihood to bring back the “top seven or eight guys” from the postseason rotation. However, it’s common for executives to preach continuity in June and then get opportunistic if a move is there to be made.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks Updates

Should the Blazers decide to trade Grant, the Mavericks would likely face stiff competition to acquire him. A few wing players are available this summer, including Paul George and Klay Thompson, who continue to be discussed frequently, but Grant is a name to watch.

If the Mavericks were to re-sign Jones, they’d likely have to trade Tim Hardaway Jr.’s contract to reduce payroll and unlock the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, making it challenging to have much moveable salary to make a difference-making trade this summer.

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