Is Jerami Grant justifying his contract?

Last July, the Portland Trail Blazers made a significant move by signing Jerami Grant to the largest contract of his decade-long career. The deal, valued at $160 million over five years, left many pundits astonished by its size, leading to questions about whether it was an overpayment.

Grant’s decision to remain with Portland despite Damian Lillard’s desire for a rebuild also raised eyebrows. However, there were logical reasons behind Grant’s choice. He was securing substantial financial stability while maintaining a crucial offensive role within the team. For the Blazers, retaining Grant meant preserving an asset rather than losing it for nothing, while also ensuring a veteran presence on the roster.

Over the course of his ten-year career, Grant has evolved from a role player to a versatile player capable of contributing on both ends of the court. Despite lacking accolades such as All-Star selections or All-NBA nods, he finished as the runner-up for Most Improved Player in the 2020-21 season and contributed to Team USA during the Olympics. His debut season with the Blazers saw him average impressive numbers, including 20.5 points per game on 40.1 percent shooting from three-point range, along with 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks.

Regarding the specifics of Grant’s contract, he was granted a five-year deal with a player option worth $36.4 million for the 2027-28 season when he will be 33 years old. While the annual salary increases over the contract’s duration, the percentage impact on the salary cap is expected to decrease.

Comparing Grant’s contract to others of similar value, such as Jamal Murray’s deal with the Denver Nuggets, sheds light on its suitability. Murray’s contract, signed in 2020, has had a different financial impact on his team due to the timing of its signing. Grant’s deal, while similar in annual amounts and raises, has had a lesser impact on the Blazers’ finances compared to Murray’s contract with the Nuggets.

Several other players have signed contracts of similar value in recent years, most of whom are considered better players than Grant and are therefore expected to earn more over the coming seasons.

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