Jerami Grant Traded to Denver
What’s the deal?
Oklahoma City sends Jerami Grant to Denver for protected 2020 first round draft pick
What does Grant bring to the Nuggets?
Grant is an ascendant player entering his prime. Proved that he could hold down a starting spot last year for the Thunder, though he’ll likely come off the bench in Denver. A consistently strong defender with a developing offensive game, Grant hit 39% of his threes last year while shooting nearly four a game -- not a small sample size -- while notching career highs in points, rebounds, and steals per game.
What does this move mean for the Nuggets?
The Nuggets made a win-now moved at the PF position when they decided to pick up Paul Millsap’s option, but lacked certainty moving into the future -- Grant has a chance to be the future of the position for the Nuggets. In the short-term, they have either another young starter to go with their developing core, or an overqualified first big off of the bench. He’s not a superstar, but with many of the anticipated West elites hanging their hats on two stars (see Lakers, Los Angeles; Clippers, Los Angeles) the Nuggets will have nearly 200 games worth of 2018-19 starts coming off their bench in 2019-20. That sort of experience will be a big difference maker when it comes to claiming home-court advantage, and making the West playoffs run through Mile High.
This is just a good deal for Denver (and OKC too). The Nuggets have designs on an even deeper playoff run than the one that came up short in the Western Semifinals this year, and for the foreseeable future, with a young core locked up for a few years. A player drafted at the end of the first round is unlikely to make a real dent in the rotation for them, so the Nuggets turned the pick into a player that will have a big role now and a larger one potentially into the future A-.
The good got even better with this deal. Grant isn’t a huge name, but he’s the type of intelligent move that smart franchises make. Though he’d look even better on a longer deal -- his upward trajectory means that re-signing him after the 2020-21 season might be expensive -- the Nuggets look to trot out a Murray-Harris-Barton-Grant-Jokic starting five either this year or next, and the current ages of that five are 21-24-28-25-23 respectively. This is a team where the best players all have their best ball ahead of them. It’s a fun time to be a fan in Denver.