A new report indicates that the injury-plagued Miami Heat are looking into the possibility of acquiring a power forward, though not at an exorbitant price.
“The Heat, exploring the power forward market, recently inquired about Utah’s Jarred Vanderbilt, according to heavycom.com,” wrote Jackson.
Entering Wednesday night’s matchup against the Washington Wizards, the Heat will continue to try to get on track after winning just seven of their first 18 contests. The latest defeat came in a 107-105 road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.
The close loss was admirable, considering the Heat entered the game with a lineup without either of their top two scorers, Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro. Both players have been sidelined with injuries, joining fellow teammates in that category.
Even though neither Butler nor Herro plays the power forward position, the Heat are looking to bolster their team for what they hope will be a deep playoff run.
Vanderbilt was originally a second-round pick of the Orlando Magic in the 2018 NBA Draft. In his second season with the Magic, he was dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a four-team trade in February 2020.
During the past offseason, Vanderbilt was part of the blockbuster deal that sent center Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves and has started in each of the 17 games he’s appeared in for the Jazz this season.
Delivering much of his production on the boards and as a defender, Vanderbilt is clearly seen as having potential value for other teams. He’s currently averaging 8.6 rebounds, 7.8 points, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
The Heat remain uncomfortable when it comes to going above the team’s salary cap, given the economic impact that would decision would deliver.
Vanderbilt’s salary for this season and next could potentially help the Heat avoid going over the cap. For the 2022-23 campaign, he’s making $4.3 million and is set to make $4.6 million next season.
The Heat have until February to make trades and don’t figure to make one in the immediate future. However, the more they struggle, the closer the time to deal may come.