The LA Lakers stole all the headlines during the Western Conference Finals and rightly so. They dispatched the Denver Nuggets in five games to progress to the NBA Finals for the first time in 10 years. LeBron James stuffed the stat sheet with his incredible performances but one player who silently raised his stock – during the last three games particularly – is Jerami Grant. Grant could be a free agent for the 2020-21 season and NBA trade rumors have started to speculate on his future.
Jerami Grant upped his production from games three to five against the LA Lakers and averaged 21 points and 4.7 rebounds in these match-ups. Most importantly, he was the main defender on LeBron James. Grant has already shown that he's ready to take the next step and the LA Lakers could be his next franchise.
NBA Trade Rumors: LA Lakers must recruit Jerami Grant
Jerami Grant was the perfect role player for the Denver Nuggets this season. He averaged double-digit points during the regular season and the playoffs, had a reliable three-point shot, and defended multiple positions.
At 26 years of age, Jerami Grant is just starting to enter his prime and has shown the potential of a substantial leap following his performances in the NBA Playoffs. LeBron James certainly took notice of the same as he took the time to speak to Grant after Game 5.
Interestingly, Jerami Grant has a $9.3 million player option for the 2020-21 season and rumors suggest that he's unlikely to make use of it. The same report claimed that Grant could demand $14 to $16 million per season.
Although the Denver Nuggets love Grant, they also have Jamal Murray's max extension coming into play next season. If Grant turns out to be that expensive, Denver would look for a way out and LA Lakers could come into play here.
Deal that LA Lakers can offer to land Jerami Grant
If the LA Lakers come calling, Jerami Grant is bound to listen. However, if he's going to command $14 million in salary, the Purple and Gold won't have the required space to sign him in free agency. The mid-level exception won't be enough either. They would then have to contact Denver Nuggets for a sign-and-trade scenario.
The player who seems fit as the sacrificial lamb for the LA Lakers is Danny Green. He has blown hot and cold throughout the 2019-20 season. However, he's still a great defender, a quality that Mike Malone appreciates. More importantly, he's on an expiring contract. So that itself could be enough for the deal to go through.
In case Jerami Grant ends up having multiple contending suitors, the LA Lakers could be forced into giving up their 2020 first-round pick as well.
Published 28 Sep 2020, 06:00 IST