While the Lakers may have a desire to be active on the trade market, the relative silence surrounding the team and potential trades has been noteworthy. While they have been linked to a number of potential trade targets, none of the reports have indicated serious discussions, instead often relaying a more “due diligence” approach by the Lakers.
Part of the reason that has been the case is the lack of interest in what the Lakers are offering. The team’s three most tradable assets feature an underperforming third-year guard who just got paid (Talen Horton-Tucker), a guard who hasn’t played a game this season (Kendrick Nunn) and a distant first round draft pick (2027).
So, while the team has been interested in making moves, there hasn’t been a ton of mutual interest across the league yet. One of the players that has been the target of rumors has been Pistons forward Jerami Grant. Seen as a solution to the Lakers problems on the wing, Grant is a perfect fit in the Lakers starting lineup... on paper.
In reality, a mixture of things has led to the Lakers and Pistons not getting close to a deal. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report told host Alen Ramic on the latest episode of “The NBA Chats” that the Lakers and Pistons both appear to have moved on from trade discussions for a variety of reasons (emphasis mine):
“I’ve heard mixed things on the Lakers even (pursuing him). It’s one of those things where sometimes a team will try, and then get rebuffed, and then put it out there that they don’t like the player and they don’t want to player. I don’t know if that’s the case (here), but I have actually heard that the Lakers have kind of passed on Grant. That he doesn’t want to play secondary or tertiary role to LeBron and AD, that they’re gonna have to invest big money in him. He’s gonna be close to 30, he’s gonna finish that next contract at 32 or 33, in that range, and if you’re paying him $30 million towards the end of that, that’s a lot to take on if you’re going to keep paying AD and LeBron.
“I would argue that OK, if he’s the perfect fit and you can get to that, and if you can work around and find a way to get him to buy into that role of being a primary scorer on the second unit, he’s still going to have a huge offensive role on the first unit, maybe there’s a way of making it happen. But I don’t think that Detroit values THT the way that the Lakers need for that to happen. You’d have to do a multi-team trade to get Detroit something that is that value, and I don’t know that it’s possible.”
A recent report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report indicated many of the things that Pincus alluded to: Grant wants to be a primary option offensively, and he expects to be offered a big extension by teams that trade for him.
For the Lakers, Grant would be nothing more than the third option (at best), and as a result he would almost certainly not sign an extension. Grant was in a similar position with the Nuggets two years ago and opted to leave the franchise for Detroit where he would be the focal point of the team offensively. It’s a gamble that paid off for him personally, but one that limits his trade market as a result.
That is only part of the equation, though. Despite being a rebuilding team, the Pistons’ lack of interest in Horton-Tucker is telling. His poor season has left the Lakers in a poor predicament whether in terms of on-court production or in trade discussions away from the court.
As a result, it means Grant — and other players of his value on the market — likely won’t be attainable for the Lakers this season, and limits just how much the team can shake things up this year. So, while Grant fits like a glove on paper for the Lakers, it seems unlikely a move will be made for the forward in the coming weeks.