The expected domino of Denver’s potential free agents has fallen, as Chris Haynes of Yahoo reports that Jerami Grant is declining his player option and will become an unrestricted free agent.

This is not a surprise. Jerami was in line for more money per year and more years in this free agent period. There was no reason for him to play out the year on a player option after making a big splash and a successful transition to playing next to Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

Denver will now be bidding against other suitors for Grant’s services, and since he is an unrestricted free agent they have no matching rights. The best bid wins. Grant is likely to want a contender, so that rules out some rebuilding teams that could fit him into their salary schedule, and having suitors that will pay more than the MLE takes out some contending teams as well.

Interested suitors might include the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat, but Denver does have an ability to outbid some of the competition thanks to having Grant’s Bird rights, which let a team go past the cap to retain its own players. The Nuggets are a contender and have the ability to pay Grant what he wants on a multi-year deal, so they remain in the driver’s seat. Or as Stiffs’ own Ryan Blackburn so eloquently puts it:

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