According to Shams Charania, the “Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as a strong suitor for Jarred Vanderbilt.”
Western Conference playoff contender emerges as strong suitor for Utah’s Jarred Vanderbilt: pic.twitter.com/WMzNyGEVzS— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 2, 2023
This makes a lot of sense for both teams. For the Jazz they’ve seen the rise of Walker Kessler this season and his play has demanded more minutes to the point where he’s supplanted Vanderbilt in the starting roster. Although that’s not because of poor play from Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt has been a big part of the Jazz’s success this season from the beginning. Vanderbilt is a swiss army knife type of player that rebounds, defends, passes and can handle the ball. That skill set would work great with the Blazers who could use another plus defender that isn’t worried about taking too many shots on offense. If this trade goes through it’s easy to see Vanderbilt succeeding with the Blazers by having someone that can get the ball to their dynamic shooters, Damian Lillard, Jerami Grant, and Anfernee Simons.
The other interesting thing about this is that Damian Lillard has talked about his interest in playing with Jarred Vanderbilt.
One other takeaway: Dame is asked who he wants to play with outside of the obvious stars, and his answers were Mikal Bridges (who was a counselor at his camp and trains with Phil Beckner), OG Anunoby (who the Blazers tried to get before the draft) and ... Jarred Vanderbilt.— Sean Highkin (@highkin) September 14, 2022
If Dame is a driving force behind this, it’s easy to see the Blazers making a big push for Vanderbilt to take advantage of the season he’s having.
We’ll see if this happens but it certainly feels like a strong possibility with the NBA trade deadline just a few days away.