If you’ve been following along lately, you already know that the Bulls have been linked to forward Jerami Grant. And acquisition cost aside, a deal for Grant makes plenty of sense for this playoff-bound Bulls squad, especially after various injuries to Derrick Jones Jr., Javonte Green, and Patrick Williams. But so far, the asking price has been prohibitively expensive. Last we heard, it was something along the lines of Williams, Jones Jr. and the protected first-round pick from Portland. But with the clock counting down to the February 10 trade deadline, the Pistons are evidently holding the line.
According to NBA analyst Chad Ford, Detroit is eager to get their hands on Patrick Williams, and they’re hoping the Bulls blink first.
“I keep hearing that the Pistons are holding out on Jerami Grant hoping that the Bulls are going to come back and give in and give Patrick Williams back for Jerami Grant at the trade deadline,” Ford told The Athletic’s Tony Jones on a recent podcast episode of Chad Ford’s NBA Big Board.
The No. 4 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Williams came off the board just three spots before the Pistons selected point guard Killian Hayes. Rumors circulated ahead of draft night that Williams was made aware that he wouldn’t go past the No. 7 spot, as The Athletic’s John Hollinger reported at the time that “the hottest draft rumor is that Williams has a promise from the Pistons.”
James L. Edwards III of The Athletic mentioned this connection more recently, writing earlier this month that Detroit “was high on” Williams in the 2020 Draft.
Not only does this tell us the Bulls could have the most intriguing offer available from the Pistons’ point of view, but it helps re-affirm how highly Williams is perceived around the league (which we wrote a lot more about earlier this week). I also have to wonder if the Pistons are so desperate to get the 20-year-old in their building that they would try to throw even more return value on the table. While I imagine Arturas Karnisovas and Co. would still be hesitant to give up their first draft selection for a player who seems to want a bigger role than the Bulls can offer, you never know how the pot can be sweetened.
Who knows if all this smoke will lead to a fire, but it’s more clear than ever that both organizations have at least thought about doing business with each other.
While we’re here, here’s part of what I had to say on the fit between the Bulls and Grant:
But let’s get a little more specific on what makes him so attractive: Grant burst onto the scene last season, averaging 22.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game. And while those numbers may have come on a 20-win Pistons team, it was still a breakout campaign that put him on the map for contenders around the league. Grant’s prior experience playing a successful 3-and-D role with the Denver Nuggets – who advanced to the Western Conference Finals during the 2019-20 season with Grant starting 16 of 19 playoff games – also demonstrates what he can bring to a winning squad.
If Grant were to buy into a similar role in Chicago, he would significantly improve this team’s two-way potential. He is a lengthy and switchable defender who can help guard positions one through five. Meanwhile, he has greatly improved as an off-the-dribble scorer, giving the Bulls yet another player who can create his own shot.
You can listen to Ford’s podcast below.
Michael Cerami contributed to this post.