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Source: Jerami Grant to be traded to Portland by Detroit

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Pistons Trail Blazers Trade Basketball

FILE - Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant brings the ball up against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Feb. 3, 2022. A person with knowledge of the move said the Pistons agreed Wednesday, June 22, to trade Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

A person with knowledge of the situation said the Detroit Pistons have agreed to trade Olympic gold medalist Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers, with the biggest part of the return being a first-round pick in 2025.

Detroit gets the No. 36 pick in the draft Thursday and what would have been Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2025, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither team had announced the agreement publicly.

ESPN first reported the trade agreement, along with the detail that the 2025 first-round pick is top-four protected.

Grant’s salary — nearly $21 million for next season — is virtually the exact amount as the trade exception that Portland created in February when it traded C.J. McCollum to New Orleans.

It also gives Portland a big boost after a disappointing season, one where perennial All-Star Damian Lillard missed much of the year while injured. He and Grant were teammates on the U.S. Olympic team that won gold at the Tokyo Games last summer.

The most significant payoff for Detroit by making the move is cap space. The Pistons now have somewhere around $44 million in space available this summer, with free agency set to start in about a week.

Grant — who played his college basketball at Syracuse — averaged 19.2 points in 47 games with the Pistons this past season and has seen his numbers greatly improve over the last two years. In his first six seasons, he averaged 9.3 points while playing for Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Denver.

But in his two seasons with the Pistons, Grant averaged 20.9 points.

And the trade serves as a homecoming of sorts. Grant was born in 1994 when his father, Harvey Grant, was in the first of his three seasons as a member of the Trail Blazers.

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Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren, Auburn's Jabari Smith and Duke's Paolo Banchero are set to make it a forward-heavy start to the NBA draft. The three top the list of players at the position and overall draft prospects, though it's unclear which might go No. 1 overall. All three possess size and open-floor potential with the ability to step outside. Iowa's Keegan Murray is another key name who is unlikely to have a long wait to be picked after the top three. Other names to watch include Baylor's Jeremy Sochan, Ohio State's E.J. Liddell and Wake Forest's Jake LaRavia. There's also a preps-to-pros prospect in Dominick Barlow from the Overtime Elite developmental program.

The Denver Nuggets selected Kansas guard Christian Braun with the 21st pick of the NBA draft. The 6-foot-6 Braun averaged 14.1 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Jayhawks last season. His 12 points and 12 rebounds helped Kansas beat North Carolina in the national championship game on April 4. He played the entire game. This is the first draft with general manager Calvin Booth as the primary decisionmaker for Denver. The Nuggets also acquired the rights to the 30th pick and final pick of the first round, UCLA freshman Peyton Watson from Oklahoma City.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have added a potential rim protector to complement star Karl-Anthony Towns with the acquisition of 7-foot-1 Auburn center Walker Kessler. The Timberwolves sent the No. 19 pick to Memphis for a pair of first-rounders. The first one became Kessler. He won two national defensive player of the year awards for the Tigers last season. The second pick was packaged to Houston for the rights to Duke's Wendell Moore Jr. Moore was the second-leading scorer for the Blue Devils on their way to the Final Four.

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