The Denver Nuggets made a bold move when trading for Jerami Grant last summer. A year later, how does the trade look?
The Denver Nuggets have typically been known to make frugal moves in trades and in the free agency market. Their recent signing of Paul Millsap and trade for Jerami Grant were among the more aggressive moves the franchise has made in recent memory.
The Nuggets were one of three teams, the others being the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets to surrender at least one first round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a trade. The Nuggets initially scratched some heads after making the deal for Grant, as it was mostly accepted that the Nuggets needed another bench scorer to preserve the offensive output once Jamal Murray hit the bench.
Grant is averaging 11.6 points per game after averaging just over nine points per game with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Thunder. Grant was averaging 26 minutes per game, also up from his career average of 24. The Nuggets have clearly made more use of him than his previous two teams had.
Denver clearly had a bit of an eye cast toward the future when they made the deal for Grant, seeing as the team’s free agents this coming year are going to leave their front court thin. The main concern is whether or not Grant is an ideal fit within the offense next to Nikola Jokic.
Jokic, while brilliant offensively, is far from a defensive stopper in or out of the paint. Paul Millsap, a former All-Defensive Second Team selection, was brought in to be that presence next to Jokic. But with him in the twilight of his career and in a contract year, adding Grant helps the Nuggets prepare for the event that they lost both Mason Plumlee and Millsap.
Grant is on his way to becoming the everyday starter in Denver, and will be the long, athletic replacement for Millsap once he departs in free agency. Denver is well set up under the luxury tax and can afford to make their investment in Grant a healthy one over the long term.