Seeing Blake Griffin flourish with the Brooklyn Nets might have driven the Detroit Pistons to slap themselves silly. They already had an All-Star in the bag yet they failed (or Griffin duped them) to make things work. Lucky for them, Jerami Grant came out of his shell and decided to be a franchise player. Grant averaged a career-high 22.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. More than the numbers, Grant seems to have picked up a better understanding of the game. And at 26 years old, he’s about to enter his prime.
The next step for the Pistons is to surround Grant with players who can help him.
The Pistons, amid their rich history of winning, remain an unattractive team for stars. As such, the right thing to do for now is to continue beefing up the roster through the NBA Draft and shrewd moves.
The offseason presents lots of opportunities for the Pistons. Fans should temper their expectations but should also remain optimistic. The two trade options below will not raise eyebrows but they will certainly help Jerami Grant in the long run.
Pistons trade targets:
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet may be the last player on your mind if you’re a Pistons fan. After all, VanVleet has risen as a foundational piece of the Raptors. Not to mention, he inked a beefy four-year $85 million deal last November. However, losing shakes up the state of things very quickly. The Raptors failed to make the playoffs for the first time in seven years. And in the middle of the 2020-21 NBA season, the Raptors looked desperate to get back to the win column as trade rumors mushroomed nonstop. Now, there are whispers that the Raptors are about to make some key roster tweaks.
The Pistons, for their part, hinted that they’re looking to be more youthful after getting rid of Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin. However, the concern now is that they might be too young and inexperienced to make key strides. This is where VanVleet can enter. We all know about his significant playoff experience which resulted in his first title ring.
The guard himself has an inspiring underdog story that the Pistons can learn from.
We also cannot discount the possibility of a VanVleet and Dwane Casey reunion. This may be the trump card that the Pistons have in their hand to lure in VanVleet. More than that, since they already know each other very well, VanVleet and Casey can just skip the getting-to-know-you part and get right into business.
To acquire VanVleet, the Pistons would have to arrange a trade package that includes Mason Plumlee, Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, and Jahlil Okafor.
It seems that this trade will leave a dent in the Pistons. They can replace Jackson and Okafor with a bunch of first-rounders.
As noted, the Pistons do not need to rush things. It would be foolish to chase a big star at the expense of their entire roster. They should take things slowly by looking at some of the young players that the other teams seem to be disregarding. Some may have forgotten that Cam Reddish is part of the Atlanta Hawks, who, as of writing, are dueling with the mighty Philadelphia 76ers in the second round. Reddish, the 10th overall pick of the 2019 NBA draft, has been out since February due to an Achilles injury.
If you’re part of the Hawks front office, this makes you wonder if you need Reddish in the first place. Meanwhile, if you’re the Pistons, you would do almost anything to get your hands on a young talent like him. Per the ESPN Trade Machine, a straight swap with Josh Jackson will make this trade work. Jackson’s relative experience could be of value to the Hawks as they try to solidify their playoff hopes in the coming years.
Together with Jerami Grant and other young guns like Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey, and Killian Hayes, Reddish would fit nicely given his smooth stroke from deep. Give or take two or three seasons, the Pistons could head back to the playoffs powered by their chemistry bursting through the seams.