The Philadelphia 76ers are seeking reinforcements up front as the trade deadline dawns. Versatile Utah Jazz big man Jarred Vanderbilt is a “leading target” for Daryl Morey and the Sixers’ front office leading up to February 9th, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports.
“Vanderbilt’s name has also appeared amid the trade deadline conversation surrounding reserve big men, most notably with the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told Yahoo Sports. While teams like the Indiana Pacers have viewed the 6-foot-9 Vanderbilt as an attractive option at power forward, Vanderbilt has been described by league personnel as a leading target in Philadelphia’s quest to fortify its frontcourt reserves behind Joel Embiid.”
Vanderbilt was acquired by the Jazz last summer, part of the blockbuster trade that sent three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He’s averaging 8.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and one steal in 24.1 minutes per game this season, recently moved to the bench to accommodate the rise of impressive rookie center Walker Kessler after starting 41 games.
Though only a long-range shooting threat from the corners and absent the vertical pop needed to catch lobs and make plays for himself off the bounce, Vanderbilt would nevertheless be a quality addition for the Sixers at the trade deadline, perhaps even supplanting PJ Tucker as a wing stopper against certain opponents. He’d give Philadelphia quality depth, too, allowing Doc Rivers to roll out more viable small-ball lineups against specific opponents.
Vanderbilt’s lack of shooting stretch and scoring ability make him a less-than-ideal fit next to Joel Embiid offensively, but Philadelphia has dealt with similar player archetypes alongside its franchise center for years.
Expect to hear Vanderbilt’s name time and again at the trade deadline, even if he doesn’t end up in Philadelphia. The Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks reportedly have interest in the 23-year-old, too.