In Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics have two players they believe they can build a championship team around. Their focus is on improving the supporting cast.
To that end, according to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Celtics are among the handful of teams interested in acquiring Jerami Grant. The Lakers, Knicks, Jazz, and Trail Blazers are among those who are also pursuing the 27-year-old forward.
Fischer adds that interest in Grant amplified after the Pistons offered a package of him, Saddiq Bey, Kelly Olynyk, and a first-round pick for Ben Simmons. That didn't entice the Sixers, but Detroit's proposal let the league know Grant's available.
Fischer also shared that league personnel views Grant as the best player most likely to get traded by the Feb. 10 deadline. The former second-round pick's averaging 20.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game this season. Grant hasn't played since undergoing surgery to repair the UCL ligament in his right thumb in mid-December. But in a sign his return is near, the Pistons recently assigned him to their G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise.
Grant, who spent most of his career as a productive role player, became the top option in Detroit last season and responded with a career-high 22.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. The 2.8 assists he distributed per contest are also his personal best in a single season.
Following the 2019-2020 campaign, the Pistons acquired Grant in a sign-and-trade that sent him to Detroit with a three-year, $60 million contract in hand. He's making barely over $20 million this season, which contending teams will happily pay for their third option.
The Celtics tried to acquire Grant last season, and the belief is they offered a package featuring multiple first-round picks to make that happen.
The Pistons could make it work with No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham and Grant, but the gap in age and the team's need to improve suggest trading the latter is for the best. According to Fischer, Detroit's asking price is two first-round picks or one first-round selection plus a promising young player.
Regarding the possibility of Grant's next team being the Celtics, Fischer relayed the following outlook on that possibility.
"Boston showed initial intrigue in Grant, but the Celtics were recently categorized to B/R as an unlikely destination."
Even if the Celtics swing a deal for Grant, doing so would come with two significant concerns. The first is how he would respond to the decrease in shots and touches that would come with being behind Tatum and Brown in the pecking order. Secondly, as a career 34.6 percent three-point shooter, who's making just 33.1 of his 5.3 attempts from beyond the arc this season, for a team in need of shooters, is Grant a good fit alongside Boston's two-best players?
To that end, there's a strong possibility acquiring Grant would trigger further reconstruction of the Celtics' starting lineup.