It seems that the closer we get to the trade deadline, the more we will hear the name of Jerami Grant.

On Tuesday, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported that Grant “is being viewed by league staff as the best player most likely to be traded” in the next two weeks. Not only that, but a team strategist told Fischer that Grant is the “big prize” at this season’s trade deadline.

Grant has had quite a journey to this point in his career. Selected with the No. 39 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, he started off the bench in the early stages of “The Process” 76ers. He’s been around ever since, spending time in Oklahoma City and Denver before moving to Detroit in search of a bigger role.

Right now, Grant might be the hottest trade candidate in the league.

What makes Grant such an intriguing player? Let’s take a closer look.

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Why Jerami Grant could be the ‘big prize’ of the 2022 NBA trade deadline

Grant was one of the standout players in the league last season.

Averaging career highs of 22.3 points and 2.8 assists along with 4.6 rebounds, Grant finished behind only Knicks forward Julius Randle in Most Improved Player voting. His efficiency took a hit compared to previous years, but his usage rate shot up from 18.0 percent in 2019-20 to 28.5 percent in 2020-21, which is the difference between a specialist like Duncan Robinson and a star like James Harden.

The intrigue with Grant is that he has now shown he can do a little of everything as a scorer. He’s hit just 34.4 percent of his 3-point attempts since joining the Pistons, but he was a 39.1 percent 3-point shooter with decent volume (3.6 attempts per game) in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Playing power forward, Grant can provide valuable shots as a stretch four.

Grant was primarily a point shooter with the Thunder and Nuggets. The Pistons have experimented a bit more with him as a shooter, to the point where they occasionally catch him for release from midrange.

Grant prospered as a cutter in both Oklahoma City and Denver. Having played alongside the likes of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, he knows how to move off the ball and has the athleticism to finish strong at the rim.

You better believe title contenders will be drawn to Grant’s experience and comfort in playing alongside the stars.

That same knowledge and athleticism make Grant a transition threat.

The real growth Grant has shown in Detroit is as a creator of himself. He still has his limitations — he’s probably still best suited to be a third or fourth option on offense — but he’s seen his isolation and pick-and-roll frequency increase as a member of the Pistons to get better results than he expected. no one could have expected.

Long story short, Grant wasn’t doing much of this…

…is…

…or this…

…before becoming Piston.

Even if a team trades Grant in hopes of him playing a more complementary role on offense, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have another player who can create a decent shot in times of need.

Teams will also be drawn to Grant’s defensive ability. He’s not much of a shot-blocker, averaging just 0.6 steals per game in his career, but he has the size and length to defend multiple positions at a high level. Take a look at the matchup data from last season and you’ll see that Grant spent time defending a variety of different players, from Khris Middleton and Andrew Wiggins to Harden, LeBron James and Devin Booker.

Lots of teams could use Grant’s versatility on defense.

How many teams are in the mix for Jerami Grant?

Quite.

According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Knicks, Jazz, Wizards, Celtics, Pacers, Timberwolves and Kings have interest in Grant. (That’s almost a third of the league if you keep count.) The Bulls are another possibility for him if they’re looking to go all-in, but it doesn’t look like they’re there, not yet. , anyway.

“For Chicago to move [Patrick] Williams, [Arturas] Karnisovas would need absolute confidence that Grant is the final ingredient for a championship run,” Fischer writes. “The front office has already mortgaged most of his future draft capital and sent Williams, Derrick Jones Jr. and the Blazers 2022 protected first. -rounder would lock the Bulls in an inflexible future. Right now, Chicago seems uncomfortable with that.”

What is Jerami Grant’s contract?

Grant is on the books for $20.0 million this season, so it won’t be how difficult for most teams to match his salary in a deal, but he only has one more year left on his current contract, making him an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 season. He is reportedly seeking an extension “in the four-year, $112 million ballpark” this offseason. Keeping it long-term won’t be cheap.

Another thing teams will have to keep in mind is that Grant has been sidelined since Dec. 17 with a thumb injury. His timeline for his return is still unclear, but interested teams will be happy to see that he is fast-tracking his rehab and could return soon.