Portland's Keeps Jerami Grant, Trail Blazers' Future at a Crossroads

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere

After missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in the Damian Lillard era, the Portland Trail Blazers are trying to bounce back, re-signing key contributor Jerami Grant to a five-year, $160 million extension.

Portland also selected guard Scoot Henderson with the third overall pick in June's NBA draft. But they may lose Lillard after the seven-time All Star formally requested a trade.

Can Grant Take His Game to the Next Level?

Grant joined the Trail Blazers in a trade from the Detroit Pistons in July 2022. In his first season with Portland, on a per 36-minute basis, he averaged 20.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.

While his field goal attempts per game (14.6) and three-point attempts per game (5.8) -- per-36 numbers -- decreased to three-year lows, his efficiency increased. Grant's 47.5% field goal percentage was his highest since 2019-20, and his 40.1% three-point field goal percentage was the best clip of his nine-year career.

With Lillard seemingly on his way out of Portland, there should be more shots available for Grant moving forward. Portland will surely be hoping Grant can maintain his improved efficiency while operating as a more central piece of the offense alongside Henderson.

Betting Odds Impact

The Trail Blazers' move to re-sign Grant has been overshadowed by the expected departure of Lillard. The announcement of Grant's deal came just 5 hours and 35 minutes before the news of Lillard's trade request. In total, the result has been a negative one for Portland's odds to win the NBA Finals -- as you'd expect

Prior to free agency, Portland was +12000 to win it all, per the NBA Finals odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Now they're listed at +25000, a number which ties them with the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz for the seventh-worst odds to win it all.

Portland's odds hinge on what winds up happening with Lillard. Grant's new contract and the arrival of Henderson will play a large part in Portland's season, but it's out the Lillard situation plays out that will have the largest impact.

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