When the Portland Trail Blazers resembled anything close to a winning basketball team last season, Jerami Grant played a critical role. He was the team’s most versatile player and one of it’s most consistent.
If Damian Lillard and/or Anfernee Simons were having an off-night, Grant could pick up the scoring slack, which he did with career-best efficiency. Even if he’s not an All-NBA defender, the 6-foot-8 wing was the best option head coach Chauncey Billups had at his disposal on that end of the floor.
Grant isn’t a perfect player, but he’s a good fit in Portland alongside Lillard and Simons as a long, athletic wing who shot better than 40 percent from three last season. The Blazers could use a few more players in Grant’s mold.
But he’s also an unrestricted free agent who can sign a five-year, $233 million max contract this summer. It’ll be a shock if he sees that amount of cash, but he’s a valuable player who will draw legitimate interest from teams with cap space if the Blazers don’t re-sign him before June 30 and he hits the open market.
Which teams could steal Jerami Grant from the Trail Blazers in free agency?
Houston hired former Boston Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka to try and infuse some accountability into a roster filled with talent, but young talent that hasn’t yet learned how to play NBA basketball.
To that point, the Rockets have been rumored to be in the market for established veterans this summer. James Harden’s potential return to Houston has been rumored for much of 2023, but the team is ready to use its gobs of cap space to make some win-now moves, even if it isn’t Harden.
Jake Fischer of Yahoo!Sports reported that the Rockets were targeting veteran Milwaukee Bucks wing Khris Middleton or Jaylen Brown, Udoka’s former pupil in Boston.
This all part of Houston’s rebuild Phase 2, according to Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.
If the team can’t land Harden, Middleton, or Brown, Grant would make sense as the next-best option, and Houston certainly has the means – and, it seems, the desire – to outbid the Blazers for their most important free agent.