Portland aims to extend Jerami Grant, but is open to moving others in the commercial market

straw grant became eligible for a contract extension with the Trail Blazers Earlier this month, Portland offered the athletic forward its maximum possible four-year contract, $112 million, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Grant has not accepted the offer, sources said, largely because the Blazers can extend him a larger contract with an additional fifth year when free agency begins June 30.

At that point, Grant, who turns 29 in March, could receive $233 million over a five-year frame, though that upper range seems unrealistic. Grant has put on record his interest in staying with Portland long-term. Him and the focal point of the franchise Damian Lillard they have maintained a close connection since they played on Team USA during the 2021 Olympics.

The rest of the Blazers’ roster looks a lot more shaky ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline. Portland has given opposing teams the impression that the Blazers are willing to talk about most of their players, particularly Josh Hart and jusuf nurkic, sources said, as the franchise remains committed to building a playoff contender around Lillard. Portland has committed teams with an eye for size to the athletics, as well as sideline defenders, sources said. Hart has become one of the most talked about names among league executives this week as he is expected to turn down a $12.9 million player option for the 2023-24 season.

Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant, right, dunks near Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, left, during the first half of an NBA game in Portland, Oregon on January 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant, right, dunks near the Jazz forward Lauri Markkanenleft, during the first half of an NBA game in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

pips‘ decision to make

After his name came up in trade talks over the NBA Draft last June, Denver began gauging the trade value of second-year guard Bones Hyland, sources said. The Nuggets have a decision to make regarding the team’s backup point guard position, previously held by Monte Morris, who was traded to Washington last offseason, as Hyland and notable free-agent acquisition Bruce Brown have demonstrated his ability to function as Denver’s backup. leading ball handler.

Like Hart, Brown is expected to decline his $6.9 million player option for next season, which could make it difficult for the Nuggets to retain the versatile forward. While Hyland still has two more years left on his rookie contract, an anticipation of Brown’s next payday, plus Hyland’s upcoming second contract, has the tax-conscious Nuggets considering their options on the perimeter. Occasional clashes between Hyland and head coach Michael Malone’s old-school mentality have also been a factor in Denver’s trade dialogue, sources said.

In exchange for Hyland, the Nuggets have expressed interest in defensive-minded quarterbacks, sources said, and will look for one more player as a first-round pick. Moving Hyland, while prepared to risk losing Brown to free agency, will also cause Denver to consider returns that could generate another backup point guard, sources said. As for potential suitors, former Denver president Tim Connelly, who now runs the timber wolves‘ front office, is still considered a big supporter of Hyland.

Milwaukee continues to search for defense

Bucks go after disgruntled Suns forward jae crowder has been well documented. Before Washington negotiated rui hachimura In Los Angeles, the Wizards were in major talks with both Phoenix and Milwaukee about a three-team concept, sources said, that would have sent Hachimura to the Suns and Crowder to the Bucks.

Milwaukee has used Grayson Allen and second-round picks in several outgoing trade packages, sources said, hoping to land a defensive-minded forward within the $10 million average annual salary range. It seems clear that the Bucks are prioritizing entry-level players and have even gone after the Rockets’ wing. eric gordonwho is much more of a wing than a frontcourt presence, and is owed $19.6 million this season before next year’s non-guaranteed salary.

Watch out for the Pelicans

New Orleans has repeatedly been mentioned as a suitor for the Hawks forward. john collins, and the Pelicans have certainly registered their interest with Atlanta, sources said. The teams appear to be natural trading partners, with the Hawks eager to add defensive-minded players and the Pelicans looking to find more offense and more shooting, though there has yet to be significant traction between the teams, sources said.

However, any search for Collins, or a dreamier target like Raptors forward OG Anunoby should the Raptors actually make him available, would induce critical accounting for New Orleans’ salary cap. The Pelicans have been satisfied with the fit of Jonas Valanciunas along with zion williamson, sources said, but Collins or Anunoby would appear to be maxed out next to Williamson as small-ball centers. And New Orleans has a long history of avoiding the luxury tax. Meanwhile, the Hawks don’t have a mandate to trade Collins, sources said, and Atlanta appears willing to keep the 25-year-old forward if a value deal doesn’t materialize before the deadline.

The Pelicans have discussed jaxson hayes, nazi marshal and Devonte’ Graham in preliminary talks about the league, sources said. Hayes will become a restricted free agent this offseason. Graham still has two years with more than $12 million for each season remaining on his contract.

Jazz remains active

Utah continues to call the opposing front offices in hopes of getting positive results for Malik Beasley, jarred vanderbilt and Mike Conley, among other veterans, the sources said. The Jazz have not budged on their stance that emerging forward Lauri Markkanen and standout rookie center Walker Kessler they are not available through commerce. while the Pair of scissors have shown interest in Conley, one source described any trade with Los Angeles for the left-handed point guard as unrealistic.

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