The Portland Trail Blazers will soon have to make a decision regarding power forward Jerami Grant.
Grant, 29, was acquired by the Blazers a year ago in an offseason trade to help boost the Blazers’ potential towards becoming a playoff contender. However, despite Grant’s arrival, the Blazers managed to finish in the lottery once again. However, Grant’s individual numbers looked strong in his first season with the Blazers.
He averaged 20.5 points per game while shooting just north of 40 percent from beyond the three-point line. He was effective in the box score, but didn’t make enough of an impact in winning basketball games.
That’s why The Athletic’s John Hollinger lists Grant at No. 18 in his free agency rankings, but also thinks the Blazers shouldn’t pay him what he’s likely going to ask for on the open market.
The Blazers seem pot-committed to keeping this group around Damian Lillard together and trying to push the boulder up the hill one more time, but at what cost? Grant is eligible for a four-year, $112 million extension between now and July 1, but even that would seemingly overvalue him based on his age and recent production. Paying him more seems absolutely batty, plus it yanks Portland ever closer to the tax line.
It’s tricky because the Blazers need to improve the team, but also wouldn’t want Grant to simply walk away for nothing. That’s what Portland risks by not bringing him in the fold. If the Blazers can find a scenario where Grant would be willing to take less than what he can earn or a sign-and-trade in which Portland can still maintain win-now assets to surround Damian Lillard with, that would be most ideal for the front office.