Report: Heat, 76ers and Celtics among teams that have inquired about Nerlens Noel recently'
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The Miami Heat are among several teams that have inquired about Detroit Pistons big man Nerlens Noel ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline.

Miami isn’t the only interested team, as the Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics have reportedly also called the Pistons about Noel.

“Per league sources, the Heat, Nuggets, Mavericks, Kings, 76ers and Celtics have recently called the Pistons and inquired about Noel,” The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III wrote.

Noel has played in just 13 games for the Pistons this season, as the team has prioritized the developments of younger players. Detroit has given rookie center Jalen Duren a ton of minutes this season as well as big man Isaiah Stewart.

That’s left Noel as the odd man out in the rotation. He’s averaging 2.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 0.7 blocks per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field.

The Heat could use another option at the center position behind Bam Adebayo, and Noel could be viewed as an upgrade over veteran Dewayne Dedmon.

With Eastern Conference contenders like Boston and Philadelphia also interested in Noel, the Heat may want to make a strong offer in order to stop him from joining their competition.

Noel was dealt to the Pistons last offseason by the New York Knicks, as the Knicks needed to free up cap space to sign guard Jalen Brunson.

Noel had one of the best seasons of his NBA career with the Knicks during the 2020-21 season, helping the team make the postseason. He finished that season averaging 5.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting 61.4 percent from the field.

However, he was severely limited by injuries last season, playing in just 25 games.

Noel is in the second year of a three-year contract, but the final year (the 2023-24 season) is a team option. That means Miami, or any other team that trades for Noel, doesn’t have to commit to him beyond the 2022-23 season.

Miami currently holds the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference, but it has lost two straight games, giving it just a one-game lead on the Knicks.

It seems like Noel should find a new home by the trade deadline with so many different teams inquiring about him, and Miami should hope that he either ends up with the franchise or in the Western Conference.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.