Report: Miami Heat among ‘most engaged’ teams in trade talks for Detroit Pistons big man Nerlens Noel'
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The Miami Heat reportedly are among the “most engaged” teams in trade talks for Detroit Pistons center Nerlens Noel.

Noel, who was dealt to the Pistons in the offseason by the New York Knicks, has not played much this season for the Pistons because the team has a plethora of young big men.

The veteran has appeared in just six games in the 2022-23 campaign.

“League sources, who were granted anonymity so that they could speak freely, have told The Athletic that the Pistons are looking to move the veteran big man,” The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III wrote. “Both sides have agreed that a deal is best for both parties, and Detroit has already had talks with rival teams about Noel. Portland, Sacramento, Miami and Dallas have been the teams most engaged when it comes to acquiring the 28-year-old.”

It makes sense that the Heat are interested in Noel, as the team has been without big man Omer Yurtseven all season. With Yurtseven sidelined, the Heat don’t have many ideal options at the center position beyond Bam Adebayo.

Noel was a solid contributor for the Knicks during the 2020-21 season, helping the team make the postseason. He finished that season averaging 5.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting 61.4 percent from the field.

However, injuries limited Noel to just 25 games in the 2021-22 campaign, and the Knicks ultimately traded him away this past summer.

The Heat clearly view the backup center spot as a place where they can improve, and it makes sense, especially because Dewayne Dedmon has been injured for a good chunk of the 2022-23 season. The veteran center has only missed five games, but he’s been a frequent name on the injury report.

It’s unclear what the Pistons are looking for in return for Noel, but the asking price shouldn’t be too high considering the fact that he isn’t in the team’s rotation.

Noel is under contract for the remainder of the 2022-23 season and has a team option for the 2023-24 campaign. The Heat could trade for him and keep him around through next season if he were to perform well.

Miami is currently 13-15 in the 2022-23 season and holds the No. 10 spot in the Eastern Conference. The team will face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

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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.