The Portland Trail Blazers can offer the Detroit Pistons the rebuilding team’s pu pu platter.
The Detroit Pistons have made it clear that their league-worst 6-28 record (yikes!) means any and all players outside of Cade Cunningham are available, including their shining star, Jerami Grant. Pistons GM Troy Weaver is already fielding offers for the explosive 6′ 8″ veteran forward, and he’ll likely be moved before the February 10 deadline.
Simons will be a restricted free agent and will probably command multiple offers, but exchanging Grant’s $20 million salary for next year with two expiring deals will give the Pistons more than $60 million in cap room.
With that much leeway, they could definitely retain Jusuf Nurkic or Robert Covington and still have enough to fill out the roster with mid-level exception and veteran minimum contracts. Or they could simply let all three players walk and go after James Harden, Bradley Beal, or another one of this summer’s marquee free agents.
Portland gets a wing defender with some size who is still improving at age 27 in Grant, as well as a bona fide second fiddle star to pair with Lillard. They also add some bench energy in Jackson, who is on a modest expiring deal himself.
Thanks to the protections on the first-round pick Neil Olshey sent to the Chicago Bulls, the Portland Trail Blazers won’t be able to trade any first-rounders until the pick conveys. To make this one work, Cronin will have to call Chicago and renegotiate the protections. Surely, the Bulls wouldn’t mind if the lottery protection was removed from this year’s pick.