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Jerami Grant agrees to 3‑year, $60 million deal with Pistons, source confirms

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-agent for­ward Jera­mi Grant agreed to a 3‑year, $60 mil­lion deal with the Detroit Pis­tons on Fri­day, a league source told to The Den­ver Post, leav­ing the Nuggets in an extreme­ly pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion at the start of agency.

Even more dispir­it­ing, the Nuggets gave Grant the exact same offer he got from Detroit, yet the free agent pow­er for­ward chose to leave any­way, a source said.

In the days lead­ing up to Friday’s free agency, both the Nuggets and Grant’s camp were con­fi­dent a deal would be reached. And yet upon the start of free agency, Grant was pre­sent­ed a more sig­nif­i­cant role with the Pis­tons that appealed to him more than stay­ing in Den­ver.

In all like­li­hood, Grant would’ve been the start­ing pow­er for­ward of a cham­pi­onship con­tend­ing squad. Instead, he’ll fea­ture with the Pis­tons, who fin­ished 20–46 last sea­son.

The Nuggets had pub­licly deemed Grant their pri­or­i­ty this off­sea­son, and it remains unclear what their plan is at pow­er for­ward or how they’ll piv­ot.

One option became clear­er Fri­day. The Nuggets have shown inter­est in free-agent pow­er for­ward JaMy­chal Green, a league source said.

The Nuggets also have to con­sid­er the future of free-agent Paul Mill­sap, who might’ve become more impor­tant as a result of Grant’s depar­ture. Mill­sap, accord­ing to a source, was wait­ing to see how the mar­ket would devel­op at the start of free agency.

Due to their lim­it­ed salary cap space, the Nuggets like­ly won’t be able to find a play­er of Grant’s cal­iber, which made the news even more unset­tling. At Grant’s intro­duc­to­ry news con­fer­ence last sea­son, Nuggets pres­i­dent of bas­ket­ball oper­a­tions Tim Con­nel­ly said he’d hope the ver­sa­tile for­ward would be in Den­ver for years.

Now Grant is gone after just one year, after the Nuggets trad­ed a first-round pick to Okla­homa City for him last off­sea­son.

Grant has a long­stand­ing rela­tion­ship with new Pis­tons exec­u­tive Troy Weaver, who was with Grant in Okla­homa City. Weaver was also a for­mer Syra­cuse assis­tant, where Grant went to col­lege.

With so much uncer­tain­ty in Denver’s front­court, keep­ing Grant in the fold was essen­tial. The Nuggets lose his length and his defen­sive ver­sa­til­i­ty, two key fac­tors in their run to the West­ern Con­fer­ence Finals this past sea­son. Den­ver was viewed as the per­fect place for him since he could play off super­stars Niko­la Jokic and Jamal Mur­ray, set­tling into a sup­port­ing role for a con­tender.

Evi­dent­ly, he want­ed to be more heav­i­ly fea­tured than what the Nuggets could offer.

Grant aver­aged 12 points and 3.5 rebounds while shoot­ing 39% from 3‑point range in his first sea­son in Den­ver. He start­ed 16 of 19 play­off games, fill­ing in for injured small for­ward Will Bar­ton.

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