Technically, Jerami Grant has no say in where he winds up if the Pistons deal him ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline. But he does have a list of preferred destinations, which he's reportedly brought to GM Troy Weaver.
Grant, who's eligible for a $100-plus million extension this summer, has made it clear that he doesn't want to get moved to a team where he won't be a primary scorer and that he won't re-sign with any team that acquires him without assurances of a prominent offensive role. So despite Grant's long list of suitors, the Pistons might not get bowled over with offers.
"He still wants to sign a contract extension this summer," NBA Insider Brian Windhorst reported Tuesday on his Hoop Collective podcast. "He's eligible for one over 100 million. If he gets traded somewhere, he wants to get traded somewhere he's going to get paid and will be that type of player. I was told his representation came to the Pistons and said, 'If you're going to trade him, here's a list of teams we would be interested in going to play for.'
"The Pistons are not even sure if they're going trade him, much less trade him to one of those teams."
Detroit's leading scorer, Grant is one of the most sought-after players on the trade market. The Pistons are said to be seeking two first-round picks or a first-rounder and a young player in return. Grant averages 20 points per game on a contract that pays him $20 million per year through next season. He's an athletic 6'8 forward who would give any contender a boost. Thing is, most contenders will likely view him as a third (or fourth) offensive option.
Bleacher Report indicated Monday that the Wizards 'are leading the chase' for Grant, with the Pistons potentially eyeing former lottery picks Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura along with 28-year-old big man Montrezl Harrell. Weaver has been actively seeking a true center to play alongside Isaiah Stewart.
On Tuesday, Bleacher Report added that the Hawks and Kings 'have emerged as strong suitors' for Grant, while a 'dark-horse team' to watch is the Mavs.
The Pistons could target 24-year-old forward John Collins in talks with Atlanta; the Hawks are 'searching for a new home' for the former first-round pick who just signed a five-year, $125 million deal and averages 17 points per game. And while the Kings have reportedly taken De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton off the table, former second overall pick Marvin Bagley III 'has consistently drawn interest from Detroit.' The 22-year-old big man averages 9.5 points per game.
Another team to keep an eye on is the Bulls, who 'have continued exploring avenues' to add Grant to their win-now roster. A deal might already be done were they willing to part ways with 20-year-old forward Patrick Williams, a favorite of Weaver's in the 2020 draft. Williams went fourth overall to Chicago three picks before Detroit took Killian Hayes and Weaver remains enamored with him now. (So do the Bulls.) His size and athleticism would also make him a natural long-term replacement for Grant.
The Bulls have yet to include Williams in trade talks, per Windhorst, but if they're 'willing to come off of him, Detroit would get interested.'
Windhorst said the understanding ahead of the 2020 draft was that "Weaver had promised Patrick Williams that they were going to take him" if he was on the board at No. 7.
"The Pistons tried to kind of promise him to keep him from working out for teams," Windhorst said. "It was known that Troy really, really liked Patrick Williams. So here's an option now to go get him and get a feasible replacement, that type of player, (for Grant)."
Windhorst suffered a season-ending wrist injury in October, but started 71 games as a rookie and averaged 9.2 points while shooting 39 percent from three. He's also considered an elite defender.
If the Bulls make him available in exchange for Grant, it might not matter if Chicago is one of Grant's preferred destinations.