Report: “Optimism” That Trail Blazers Forward Will Stay In Portland Long-Term

With their splashy offseason acquisition having a career year, and now eligible for a long-term extension, the Portland Trail Blazers and forward Jerami Grant have plenty of reasons to work together and ensure he stays in Rip City. And according to a report, there's optimism that something could indeed get done.

Grant himself has nothing but good things to say about the organization and the vibe around the team, per Jason Quick of The Athletic.

I definitely like it here; love it here. The guys have been very welcoming, it’s definitely a family environment, everybody is super cool, got good guys on the team, great organization — Joe, Chauncey, everything. I’m definitely enjoying it here.

I ain’t really plan on leaving.

                                                                                     —Jerami Grant

The 28-year-old is having the best season of his career, averaging 22.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 44.2 percent from 3-point range.

After Grant came to the Blazers in a summer trade, he and Damian Lillard were teammates on Team USA at The Olympics. They became fast friends and spent a lot of time together. Dame even said the two talked at the time about Grant extending in Portland. 

Money, however, as it always is, is the issue. Grant became eligible on Friday for a 4-year extension worth up to $112M. But that's peanuts compared to what he could sign for if he becomes a free agent first. Re-signing with Portland as a free agent can net him a max deal of five years and $233.1M. The most he could sign for with another team in free agency would be four years, $172M.

But his new good buddy Lillard will certainly be in his ear when the time comes to make a decision.

“I think (Grant) understands it’s a good situation for him,’’ Lillard told Quick. “He’s been able to play free … the game has come pretty simple for him … we’ve welcomed him. Right now we are 19-19, but we are capable of being a winning team … It’s a good situation for him, and that speaks louder than anything else.’’ 

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports