Rival Exec Reportedly Keeping Lakers From Trading for Veteran Forward

The Lakers continue to express interest in Jerami Grant, but the Trail Blazers aren't looking to give him up for anything.
Jul 2, 2024; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka at a press conference at the UCLA Health Training Center.
Jul 2, 2024; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka at a press conference at the UCLA Health Training Center. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have had a quiet free agency thus far as they failed to land Klay Thompson and Buddy Hield. Thompson joined the Dallas Mavericks in a sign-and-trade, while Hield decided to head to Golden State.

The Lakers need to have a strong offseason, given that they were bounced in the first round of the NBA playoffs, have a first-time head coach (JJ Redick), and LeBron James isn’t getting any younger.

With all those factors at play, it would’ve been nice to see Lakers GM Rob Pelinka sign at least one or two impactful free agents. However, all is not lost for Los Angeles as there are other ways to upgrade their roster before next season begins.

One of the more difficult ways is to make a trade, which we’ve seen countless teams do this offseason. The Lakers, however, aren’t like any other team as their assets don’t have enough value around the league.

Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers’ front office brass cannot worry about that as the time is ticking on this team’s championship window. If Pelinka still wants to go the trade route despite his less-than-stellar cupboard of talent, he reportedly has his eyes on Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant.

Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Continues To Show Interest in Jerami Grant

Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports reported that the Lakers have “an interest” in Grant and the Blazers “would no doubt” be willing to trade the veteran forward. However, there are varying degrees of what the Lakers would give up for Grant and what Portland wants in return.

"The Lakers have an interest in Blazers forward Jerami Grant, a sensible fit for the team and one Portland would no doubt be willing to trade. But he is the kind of player, too, who has two very different levels of value—one being what the Lakers would be willing to give up for him and the other being what the Blazers want."

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com

Deveney also adds that a Western Conference executive told him that Blazers GM Joe Cronin is stubborn and Portland must realize what type of player Grant is at this stage of his career.

"They’re stubborn,” the exec said. “Part of the job is to be stubborn, though. But part of the job is also seeing your mistakes and getting out of them. Grant was a mistake. Trading him now just to get out of that salary is the right thing to do, take whatever picks or young guys you can get."

Coincidentally, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard Grant connected to the Lakers, as there were rumblings ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft. The veteran forward is also a client of Klutch Sports Group.

The 30-year-old Grant had a solid 2023-24 season despite being limited to 54 games because of injury. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 21 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 33.9 minutes per game.

Grant also shot a healthy 45.1 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from deep, which are great numbers and support why the Lakers should trade for him. However, Grant is scheduled to make $29 million next season and has three more years left after making $32 million-plus.

With that being said, the Lakers have the contracts and draft capital to get a trade done for Grant, but the Trail Blazers want “both Lakers picks” as they believe they are trading a star, per Deveney.

However, Portland has to realize Grant isn’t a “star” and that the vet forward doesn’t fit their timeline, especially after they traded for Deni Avdija last month

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if any more chatter surfaces around Grant and the Lakers, as he might be their next-best option this offseason.

More Lakers news and analysis: