NBA Rumor: Jerami Grant Free Agency

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Mavericks and Suns interested in Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant and Denver have significant mutual interest in a new deal, sources said. Grant will decline his $9.3 million player option for next season, sources say, and Detroit, Phoenix and Dallas are expected to show interest in him. Grant has established himself as a starting forward for a contending NBA team, providing 3-point shooting, slashing and defensive versatility. The 26-year-old averaged 11.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 19 postseason contests during Denver’s run to the Western Conference Finals.

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Mike Singer: I think there’s a very good chance the Nuggets retain Jerami Grant for a few reasons. First of all, their cap situation is such that they wouldn’t be able to sign a player of his caliber from the free agent pool. Secondly, the Nuggets know how valuable Grant is, particularly in the Western Conference. The Nuggets probably wouldn’t have made it out of the first round without him, and they certainly don’t beat the Clippers without him. I think both sides are motivated to reach a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of four years for $64 million. That’s just an educated guess.

“I think (Nikola Jokic) and ‘Mal, Mike (Porter Jr.), everybody did a good job of just moving the ball, making it easy for us, making it easy for me, on the offensive end,” Grant said, following Saturday night’s Game 5 loss to the Lakers, which ended Denver’s season. “I tried to step up on the defensive end.” Asked specifically whether he wanted to be part of the team moving forward, Grant said: “I’m definitely looking forward to it,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
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The real question is what happens after. At one point, there was mutual interest in an extension. However, the sides have been far apart in those preliminary discussions, sources say. The Cavs recognize Drummond’s talent but they are also honest about his flaws, especially in this pace-and-space era, where bigs like him are easy to attain. They don’t want to commit to an unfriendly deal that could limit future moves, not after an eight-game sample size. Drummond, meanwhile, wants to be compensated for bypassing a chance at 2021 free agency, when many teams will have significant cap space. Given the differing, current monetary views, an extension seems unlikely.