After agreeing to send Jerami Grant to Trail Blazersthe Pistons will target Suns center Deandre Ayton in free agency, sources tell James L. Edwards of The Athletic. Ayton will be a restricted free agent, so Phoenix can match any offer he receives, but there is speculation he could be on the move due to his desire for a max contract and a reported showdown with the club. ‘coach. Monty Williams in the playoffs.
Detroit will head into the free agent market with approximately $43 million of cap space once the grant trade is finalized. Edwards says the Pistons could use him to explore trade opportunities if Ayton re-signs with the Suns or is traded elsewhere. He adds that the general manager Weaver of Troy won’t feel like you have to go through all that in the offseason. The organization can save space to accept unwanted contracts and acquire asset projects.
With their obligations to Blake Griffin Finally done, the Pistons have cap flexibility for the first time in several years, Edwards notes. They want to build an exciting and competitive team around Cade Cunningham and they hope that Ayton will be part of this group.
There is more on the Grant trade:
- The Portland deal is the best offer the Pistons have received for Grant, according to Edwards’ sources. He adds that potential trades have been discussed with other teams, dating back to the February deadline, but no formal offer has provided a better return than the Blazers’ draft pick package.
- Trading their starting power may indicate the Pistons are focusing on Keegan Murray with the fifth pick in Thursday’s draft, but Edwards warns it’s not a foregone conclusion. Jaden Ivey will also be considered if available, as well as Benoit Mathurin. Edwards also points out that Isaiah Stewart Where Sadiq Bey could replace Grant, allowing the team to focus on other draft positions. With their new cap space, Edwards suggests the Pistons could try to acquire a pick late in the lottery if a big man like Jalen Duren is still available.
- Damien Lillardthe agent, Aaron Goodwinapproved trade, tweet Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. He said it shows “the Blazers are in competition.”
- Zach Harper of The Athletic gives the Trail Blazers a B and the Pistons a C-plus in his ratings for the deal. He notes that Grant has been extremely productive in his two seasons in Detroit and offers Portland a path to a quick return to contender status. Harper adds that the trade makes sense for the Pistons’ rebuilding effort, even if it’s a long wait for Milwaukee’s 2025 first-round pick.