The Oklahoma City Thunder have entered a new chapter in their franchise’s history after receiving a historic haul of draft picks in exchange for star small forward Paul George in a trade with the LA Clippers. Going from a win-now situation to a rebuild likely means more moves are on the way, and now it’s Jerami Grant who’s on the way out.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, OKC has agreed to trade Grant to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a first-round pick in 2020.
Oklahoma City Is trading F Jerami Grant to Denver for a 2020 first-round pick, league sources tell ESPN. Deal brings OKC it’s sixth future first in past week and saves Thunder $39M in salary and luxury tax.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 8, 2019
While some Thunder fans may be scratching their heads as to why they would forfeit their best defender, this is a deal that makes sense for both sides. As stated earlier, OKC is now clearly in rebuild mode, and Jerami Grant is a win-now type player that can elevate a championship contender. With Grant also now gone, it continues to seem more and more likely that Russell Westbrook‘s days as a member of the Thunder are numbered.
For the Nuggets, this is a move that may fly slightly under-the-radar, but it is likely their most important transaction so far this offseason. The Nuggets roster a slew of talented young wings, but none are known for their defense. This is where Grant will be so valuable for Denver.
Now having to deal with a number of immensely talented forwards atop the West including the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James, and Paul George, it’s imperative to roster a lockdown defender. At 6’7″ with a bothersome 7’3″ wingspan, Grant can give even the best offensive players fits at times and will immediately become the Nuggets’ best defender.
Even with the top of the Western Conference as crowded as it’s ever been, the Denver Nuggets are right there among the best and just got even better with their recent acquisition of Jerami Grant.