A sign-and-trade scenario that sends Jerami Grant from the Denver Nuggets to the Atlanta Hawks.
After continuing to muse on the possibility that the Denver Nuggets lose Jerami Grant in free agency, the Atlanta Hawks remain the most likely destination for the 26-year-old forward. However, what’s the point of losing Grant and gaining nothing in return?
With neither team being in the luxury tax last season (or even on the path to be), it should be possible for the Hawks and Nuggets to complete a sign-and-trade that sends Grant to Atlanta.
In such a deal, it would be unrealistic to expect the Hawks to give up Trae Young, John Collins, Cam Reddish or Clint Capela, players with All-Star potential who comprise the majority of their young core. Atlanta may even show a fair amount of resistance to trading De’Andre Hunter, who they added to the team with the fourth overall in 2019 NBA Draft, to Denver.
Nonetheless, there are a couple of other players that the Hawks have that would be valuable pieces for the Nuggets.
Should Atlanta want to sign Grant to a deal that pays him more than $20 million per season, they can pry Kevin Huerter and Dewayne Dedmon from the Hawks with little issue.
In the case of Huerter, who was the 19th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Denver gets a sharpshooting wing who can be a playmaker off-the-dribble. Huerter has averaged 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 0.9 steals per game in his two-year career, shooting 41.6% from the field and 38.3% from 3-point range. It’s an oversimplification just looking at his numbers, but in terms of box score impact, he can replace what the Nuggets lose from Grant all by himself.
Defensively, Huerter isn’t spectacular but he’s solid. Because he’s reliable on both ends, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to be a starter after the trade.
Dedmon, a 31-year-old veteran center, has great size as a true 7-footer and plenty of experience in a leadership role for young teams. His skillset will mesh quite well with his teammates in Denver, as he’s capable of spacing the floor with scoring from all three levels, loves to finish above the rim, is a strong defensive rebounder, and has the ability to be a communicative defensive anchor. Whether it’s in the paint, or on the perimeter, Dedmon is reliable.
– The acquisition of Dedmon also prevents the Nuggets from having to think too hard about what it would take to bring back Mason Plumlee. In turn, with the price of Grant and Plumlee being wrapped up in this sign-and-trade, Denver should have the financial flexibility to re-sign Paul Millsap and Torrey Craig.
– Of course, to many, the trade-off between Dedmon and Plumlee seems to even out. However, there’s going to be a question of what Huerter can bring in place of Grant.
– Offensively, Huerter won’t finish as much inside the paint and defensively, Huerter doesn’t have Grant’s size or versatility. That said, the primary concern for the Nuggets will be how they guard the LeBron James’ and Kawhi Leonards of the world without him.
– Barring exceptional growth on the defensive end by Michael Porter Jr. this offseason, Denver will have to rely on Harris, Craig and P.J. Dozier. The Nuggets may also choose to sign someone they’re more confident in then Craig defensively, or who has more length. A short list of these players could include James Ennis and Josh Jackson.
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