Trail Blazers News: Lakers Interested in Trading for Portland Vet This Summer

What kind of assets would a theoretical deal take, from a Portland perspective?
Jan 21, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant (9) during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant (9) during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are apparently amenable to a trade that could see them acquire 3-and-D veteran Portland Trail Blazers power forward Jerami Grant this summer, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Fischer notes that one-time All-Star combo guard Dejounte Murray, currently with the Atlanta Hawks, is another top veteran target. Grant, meanwhile, is a client of Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, much like All-NBA L.A. stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

So what kind of Lakers assets would a theoretical deal take, from a Portland perspective?

Grant is a very solid player, coming off a very solid, very prolific individual season that in no way contributed to winning. Across 54 healthy games last season, the 6-foot-7 combo forward averaged 21 points on .451/.402/.817 shooting splits, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 dimes a night. And Portland still went 21-61, despite his best efforts. On a good team, look for him to be maybe the third option offensively. He would instantly be the Lakers' second-best frontcourt defender.

The 30-year-old Syracuse product has four years remaining on the five-season, $160 million contract he signed as a free agent with the non-contender Blazers last summer. His $36.4 million owed in 2027-28, when he'll be 33 and presumably falling off, is a player option. Given the uncertainty of the NBA's salary cap at that point (there should be a new TV rights deal in place long before then), he may be able to fetch more money as a free agent at that point, even with declining on-court value. Regardless, fans have seen how good Grant can be on a quality team, as he essentially was the third-best player on several deep pre-title Denver Nuggets squads, combining the catch-and-shoot jump shooting of Michael Porter Jr. with the defense of Aaron Gordon, while not being quite as good at either skill.

The Lakers will have up to three first round picks that they can trade, including this year's No. 17 pick in first round of the 2024 NBA Draft, slated for Wednesday. Grant has never been an All-Star and is generally seen as being fairly overpaid, though he still does have value so he's not quite a negative asset. Perhaps a lottery-protected first rounder and a future second is enough to get a deal done.

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Alex Kirschenbaum

ALEX KIRSCHENBAUM

Clyde, Rick Barry, and Pistol Pete Now these players, could never be beat.