Heat in the mix to land coveted Pistons forward: NBA insiders

The Miami Heat have been linked to numerous rumored commercial goals since they made the NBA Finals for the second time in three seasons in one game. However, a new report shows the franchise is actively in the mix to shake things up this summer.

On Sunday, June 19, Five Reasons Sports Network NBA insider Adam Borai announced that the Heat are interested in signing Detriot Pistons forward Jerami Grant.

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Borai tweeted“Sources: Jerami Grant’s trade candidacy has been heating up over the past few weeks. Concerns about its renewal have discouraged potential applicants from seriously considering DET. As previously reported, the Blazers & Hawks are teams to watch. Now add the heat to that list.”

Grant, the Sixers’ second-round pick of the 2014 NBA draft, spent two seasons in Philadelphia before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in November 2016. The Syracuse graduate was traded to the Denver Nuggets in July 2019 but eventually ended up in Detroit via a sign-and-trade deal in November 2020, in which he signed a three-year, $60 million deal.

Last season, Grant averaged 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 42.6% from the field and 35.8% from off the arc. While Grant was the Pistons’ top scorer, he struggled to stay healthy last season.

The 6-foot-8 forward only came on in 47 games after suffering a season-ending strain in his left calf in late March and previously missed 18 games with a right thumb sprain, The Detriot News reports . However, Grant should be healthy and ready for the 2022 NBA season.

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Back in May, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz assessed what a potential trade would be between the Heat and the Pistons if they chose Grant. Swartz suggested Miami could land Grant by offering forward Max Strus from Detriot, sniper Duncan Robinson and a 2022 first-round pick.

Swartz wrote, “Robinson has become a $90 million seat warmer in Miami that the Heat should use as a salary matcher to upgrade the roster this summer. Grant works as a alternate defender and goalscorer for a Heat team that sometimes struggles with their halffield offense.

“His presence in a starting XI with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker would make this the worst lineup to point against in the entire league. Detroit could really use Robinson as they’ve finished 29th (32.6 percent) in three-point accuracy this season.”

However, it could be difficult for Miami to let go of Strus, who is entering the second year of his $3.4 million contract. The 26-year-old forward is a prime example of Heat’s successful development program, which offers two-sided talent at a great price.

Swartz referred to Strus as the added “sweetener” in the trade listing. “[He] has worked his way up the Miami starting lineup this postseason after shooting 41.0% from three in the regular season, and collecting the Heat’s late first-round picks would make this Pistons rebuild deal worthwhile.

Since Pat Riley became team president in 1995, the Heat have rarely held onto their first-round picks. Miami “walked out of the draft in 2021, 2018, 2016, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2006, 2000 and 1998 without a first-rounder,” as reported by Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.

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During his annual year-end press conference, Riley said that while he’s “really proud” of what the team has achieved over the past season, if the right star was available at the right price, he wouldn’t be afraid to jump on it .

“If there’s one out there, throw it to me,” Riley said of adding a second elite shooter to work alongside Jimmy Butler. “You can always use more, but it has to fit well. But not at the expense of something that might be prohibitively expensive. We will seek, we will explore. We always do. It’s part of the deal we chose. Whatever the outcome after the season, you could say we still need one or the other depending on how the league is going. That goes into the equation.”

If Grant came to Miami, he’d be a familiar face at heat center Bam Adebayo. The two were teammates when the US men’s basketball team won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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