What would it take for the Timberwolves to acquire Jerami Grant?
It’s hard to say exactly what the Pistons are looking for, but what we do know is that they won’t have any shortage of suitors for Grant’s services.
According to Jake Fischer’s latest report for Bleacher Report, there are at least nine teams who have at least inquired about Grant, including the Timberwolves. Importantly, he also notes that the Pistons are looking for “two first-round picks or one first-round pick plus a high-upside young player.”
While the idea of a “high-upside young player” is quite subjective, a former five-star recruit and recent first-round pick who is already a plus defender couldn’t be too hard of a sell.
(This trade, along with all those that follow, all work financially according to the FanSpo Trade Machine.)
If you’re the Wolves, this price should not feel high. While McDaniels’ upside is probably still higher than what Grant currently provides, what are the chances that he actually becomes a better player? The Wolves own all of their future picks, plus some extra second-rounders, so trading the first-rounder doesn’t hurt that much — especially as a likely playoff team this year.
From the Pistons’ perspective, it wouldn’t be hard to talk yourself into McDaniels as a starting-caliber player and potentially strong complement to Cunningham for the next several years with the off-chance that he becomes a star.
Plus, a pick from the Wolves is likely thought to have more value than a pick from some of the other rumored suitors, including the Lakers, Celtics, Wizards, and so on.
Beasley would have the rest of this season as a starter in Detroit to recoup trade value and could be flipped in the offseason as either a valuable shooter with up to two years on his contract if a team option for 2022-23 is exercised, or as a decent bench piece with an expiring deal next summer if the option is not picked up.
If the Pistons would rather have two picks, then perhaps the deal can be centered around expiring contracts.
At that point, however, it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be a more appealing offer out there somewhere else.
The expectation here is that Grant will end up elsewhere, and if the Wolves end up landing him, there will be a third team involved that would have more interest in Beasley’s services and be willing to ship out a pick for him.
The third team would likely be a fringe playoff team looking to add some offensive punch. Here’s a stab in the dark at what this could look like:
The Wolves get Grant and add backcourt depth with Holiday. Bryant is in the deal to match salaries but adds another big body as reinforcement behind Naz Reid in games against teams with big frontlines and/or when Towns is in foul trouble.
The Pistons get what they want in a young player with upside in McDaniels, plus an expiring deal with Prince and a pair of first-round picks. This is the best haul of any of the above trade options for the Pistons.
The Wizards are solidly in the play-in conversation in the Eastern Conference but are No. 27 in 3-point shooting percentage. While Beasley has struggled this season, he has a multi-year track record of knocking down 3-pointers at an impressive clip. Washington also gets a pair of second-round picks to compensate for their loss of Holiday, who has been an important rotation piece for them this season.
Of course, as Fischer notes in his article, Grant could ultimately be the deadline’s ‘grand prize’. If that’s truly the case, then someone will be willing to outbid the Wolves.
Until he’s actually traded, however, it’s worth considering how this could go down in the Timberwolves’ favor, and there are certainly a few paths to making it happen.