Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge flat out admitted it last month: Boston does not have a championship roster.
With the March 25 trade deadline fast approaching, the Celtics, just 18-17 overall this season, will be calling multiple teams in the hopes of landing an impact player who fits alongside franchise cornerstones Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. They may need to lower their expectations a bit, though.
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One of Boston’s top trade targets is Detroit forward Jerami Grant, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Grant is in the midst of a career year, averaging 23.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game after signing a three-year, $60 million contract with the Pistons last offseason. ESPN’s Tim Bontemps recently reported that rival executives expect the Celtics to hunt for “a player who can play either forward spot and provide some scoring punch,” and Grant certainly fits the bill.
However, there is a big problem here for the Celtics: It takes two sides to make a deal. The Athletic’s James Edwards III explained why it’s highly unlikely the Pistons would move Grant before the deadline.
Grant’s relationship with [Pistons general manager Troy] Weaver is very strong. It’s a big reason why the 26-year-old left a winning situation in Denver to join the rebuilding Pistons. Grant is considered a franchise building block and embodies everything Detroit wants its culture to be about moving forward.
From all accounts, Grant will be in a Pistons uniform for as long as he wants to be.
Grant left the Nuggets for the Pistons because he wanted an expanded role and the opportunity to play for a Black GM in Weaver and Black head coach in Dwane Casey. He has rewarded Weaver’s trust by performing above and beyond all expectations, even if the Pistons aren’t winning a ton of games. Everyone in Detroit knew the team wasn’t in position to compete for a title this year.
At this point, there is simply nothing to indicate that the Pistons are willing to discuss Grant’s availability. Ainge and the Celtics may want him, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get him.