Lakers rumors: Productive Klutch Sports client intriguing but risky trade target

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to a Klutch Sports client in recent trade rumors. It's intriguing, but also carries significant risk.
Miami Heat v Portland Trail Blazers
Miami Heat v Portland Trail Blazers / Soobum Im/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be active in the trade market during the 2024 NBA offseason. It comes as no surprise, as Los Angeles followed a trip to the 2023 Western Conference Finals with a first-round exit one year later.

With future first-round draft picks to trade and a limited semblance of salaries to match, the Lakers appear to be narrowing their list of options and identifying realistic targets.

Los Angeles isn't going to trade Anthony Davis, and it's willing to pay just about anything to re-sign LeBron James. It's also hoping to keep Austin Reaves in town. That leaves a more limited selection of players and outgoing salaries, which has resulted in uncertainty as to how the team might proceed.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, one of the players whom the Lakers are expected to pursue is Portland Trail Blazers forward and Klutch Sports client Jerami Grant.

"Jerami Grant, a client of Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, is believed to be another potential addition on the Lakers’ wishlist, according to league sources."

It's an intriguing possibility, but context must be acknowledged.

Jerami Grant could be a great fit, but context is key

Grant has spent the past 10 seasons developing into one of the more productive scorers in the NBA. He's averaged upwards of 20 points per game in three of the past four seasons, utilizing a consistent outside shot to fuel his growth into a complete and efficient scoring option.

This past season, Grant averaged 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.1 three-point field goals made per game on .451/.402/.817 shooting.

Unfortunately, Grant's appeal comes with two key areas of concern: Injuries and salary. For one, he's entering the second season of a backloaded five-year, $160 million contract, which effectively pays him as a legitimate No. 3 option on a star-studded team.

Due to the financial restrictions imposed by the NBA with the introduction of salary aprons, adding Grant would effectively mean building around him, Anthony Davis, James, and little else.

Furthermore, Grant has missed at least 18 games in each of the past four seasons—including 35 in 2021-22 and 28 in 2023-24. At 30 years of age, it'd be a medical anomaly to see his injury issues dissipate the older he gets.

This isn't to say that Grant can't provide value, of course, but instead to acknowledge that this would be a calculated risk with cause for concern.

Davis has a history of injuries that he's looking to overcome, and James has quietly endured the same—missing at least 26 games in four of his six seasons with the Lakers. Adding a player who thrives as a scorer and has the tools for strong defense sounds great on paper, but the risk is undeniable.

$29,793,104 owed for the 2024-25 season isn't horrible, and salary cap increases would make his contract easier to stomach, but a player with a recent and long history of injuries may not be the best option for a team that's already navigating such rocky terrain.

Grant fits well on the court, but the other factors make him a risky trade target.