Worst offseason move No. 2: Signing Jerami Grant to a massive contract
Portland signed Jerami Grant to a massive five-year, $160 million contract this offseason. In year five of the deal, Grant will be 34 and has a player option for $36 million. He will be a negative asset in the later years when Portland’s young, promising players are just entering their prime.
The Blazers offered Grant the contract before Damian Lillard officially requested a trade. The goal with the Grant signing was to prove to Lillard that the Blazers were dedicated to building around him with veteran pieces. The plan did not work, as Lillard still requested a trade. As a result, signing Grant to such a significant contract is a mistake.
The Blazers are now in retooling mode following the selection of Scoot Henderson at No. 3 overall in this year’s NBA Draft and the emergence of Shaedon Sharpe. Grant is a great player and will likely be the Blazers’ best player this season. However, he doesn’t fit Portand’s timeline following the Lillard news. To make matters worse, he could be difficult to trade for draft picks or young assets because of the size of the contract.
From an on-court standpoint, one concern regarding Grant will be whether or not he can maintain his shooting from last season. Last year, Grant averaged 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists on 48/40/81 shooting splits. However, his shooting was an outlier, as he has only been an above-average shooter at 36 percent from three in his career. The contract could be even worse if Grant doesn’t maintain his elite floor spacing from last season.