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Jerami Grant's collaboration with LeBron James would be worth seeing

There are a lot of free agency transfers going on in the NBA right now, and there are media reports about the status of former Syracuse basketball star Jerami Grant, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound forward, who played two seasons on the Hill before moving to the pros, averaged 21.0 points per game last season, shooting 45.1 percent from the field, 40.2 percent from beyond the three-point line and 81.7 percent from the free throw line.

However, he only played in 54 regular season games and Portland finished with a miserable 21-61 record, which was last place in the Western Conference.

This week I came across various reports on Grant during the free agency period this offseason, which began not too long ago.

Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily, for example, wrote not long ago in a post on his X-page that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Trail Blazers are “in ongoing talks about a deal for Jerami Grant.”

If Grant were to join the Lakers and play alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and others, it would certainly be entertaining to watch. But nothing is finalized and there is no guarantee that Grant will go to Los Angeles or any other NBA team.

James and Davis may be All-NBA players, but to put things into perspective, the Lakers had a 47-35 record in the 2023-24 regular season, were the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference during the playoffs and were eliminated in the first round after five games against the No. 2 seed, the Denver Nuggets.

In the recent 2024 NBA Draft, held late last month, the Lakers selected Dalton Knecht of Tennessee, who was selected to the All-American first team last season, and Bronny James of Southern California, LeBron's son, and have since signed them.

From a completely personal, selfish perspective, it would be wonderful if Grant went to the Lakers for a number of reasons. First, he's one of my favorite players in recent 'Cuse history, hails from the DMV like me, and is a star at the famed DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, which is about 30 miles from where I live in the Baltimore area.

Also, the Lakers are my son's favorite professional team and his favorite NBA player is LeBron James. My son's favorite college programs include Syracuse, Tennessee (and North Carolina), so it would be great for us to see LeBron, Bronny, Jerami, and Dalton.

Grant, who signed a five-year, $160 million contract with Portland ahead of the 2023-24 season, was part of the Orange's class of 2012 as a four-star, top-50 talent in the country. In his first season, the 'Cuse had a glorious run in March Madness as a No. 4 seed all the way to the Final Four, eventually reaching an overall record of 30-10.

During the 2013–14 season, when Syracuse basketball moved from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference, Grant was a key contributor as a sophomore in helping the Orange start 25–0 and finish the season with a 28–6 record.

The Philadelphia 76ers selected Grant 39th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. In addition to Philadelphia, he played for Oklahoma City, Denver, Detroit and now Portland.

Oh, and in late May it was announced that Grant had joined the ownership group of DC United, a Major League Soccer club that has won the MLS Cup four times.

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