clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Report: The Miami Heat have been ‘in contact’ with Jazz, Pistons for Jarred Vanderbilt and Nerlens Noel

Miami’s in the rumor mill for help in the frontcourt.

NBA: Miami Heat at Utah Jazz Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks out of the Feb. 9 trade deadline, the Miami Heat have reportedly been “in contact” with the Utah Jazz and the Detroit Pistons for forward Jarred Vanderbilt and center Nerlens Noel, Five Reasons Sports Heat insider Greg Sylvander reported Wednesday evening.

Vanderbilt was acquired by the Utah Jazz in the infamous Rudy Gobert trade over the offseason. In 49 games (41 starts), he’s averaging 8.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He’s shooting 55.3 percent from the floor while expanding his range; the 23-year-old has canned 19 of his 55 triples — a 34.5 percent clip — with all but a handful of his 3-point attempts from the corner.

Vanderbilt, listed at 6-foot-9, is a good screener, good defender and a very good vertical-and-lateral athlete who could hypothetically fill Miami’s need as a starting power forward, even with his floor-spacing limitations.

He’s in the second year of a three-year, $13.1 million deal that he signed before the 2021-22 season. Vanderbilt carries an inexpensive cap hit at $4.4 million, per Spotrac — so the Heat won’t be required to move much salary, should he be the only player coming back in any hypothetical deal. He also has a partially-guaranteed deal for next season; the former second-round pick will have just $300K guaranteed with the possibility of $4.7 million guaranteed if he’s not waived by June 30.

Noel, at 6-foot-11, has only played in 38 combined games since the start of the 2021-22 due to lower body injuries. He’s averaging 2.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.4 minutes across 13 games so far this season. In Noel’s last full season in 2020-21, he averaged 5.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.2 blocks.

Noel, a former top-10 pick, has been apart of five teams over his career. He has another year left on a three-year, $27.7 million deal; his cap hit for this year is $9.2 million with a $9.7 million team-option for next year.

Both Noel and Vanderbilt would undoubtedly help Miami’s frontcourt rotation. The former would be a good backup — with athleticism and size — to Bam Adebayo, providing a degree of rim protection and vertical spacing that Miami hasn’t had. Vanderbilt adds depth at power forward and could be a potential small-ball five in certain lineups.

Once again, as I’ve previously belabored before, it’s not surprising that Miami’s doing their due diligence, like they do for most players. While it’s not their only need, it would be refreshing if they acquire reputable help in the frontcourt by any means necessary. Though it will be interesting to see what either go for — assuming either one is traded — come the deadline.

This is a developing story, stay tuned for details.