Jarred Vanderbilt might not be a household name to the casual fan, but the general managers around the NBA know who he is and what he brings to the table.
According to radio personality John Gambadoro, the Utah Jazz omitting newly-acquired forward Jarred Vanderbilt in trade talks with the Phoenix Suns was a deal breaker in the Bojan Bogdanovic trade talks.
“Talks with the Suns and Jazz broke down over Bojan Bogdanovic when Phoenix wanted Utah to add young power forward Jarred Vanderbilt to the package," Gambadoro tweeted.
Most likely, the Suns would have been willing to part with a first-round pick to get Verlander. In this case, one in the hand is worth two in the bush, and the Jazz front office made the right decision by resisting the temptation of moving Verlander for an unknown.
The Jazz also appeared to be the front runners in acquiring some draft capital from the Los Angeles Lakers, but those rumors have been put to bed now that Bogdanovic has been shipped to the Detroit Pistons. Was not parting with Vanderbilt the sticking point in those talks as well?
What can Jazz fans expect from the fourth-year pro out of the University of Kentucky?
Vanderbilt is the type of player that the Jazz have been missing in recent years — a high-energy player that can keep a crowd engaged with hustle and grit. On the defensive side, he can guard wings on the perimeter while making life difficult for the bigs on the post. Versatility is his strength.
At 6-foot-9, Vanderbilt's got a 7-foot-1 wingspan paired with an 8-foot-10 standing reach. He’s got a skill set that’s hard to duplicate, and I would love to see what he can do as the starting center for the Jazz. The best part is he’s under team control for two more years at a bargain of a deal at $4.5 million per year.
Vanderbilt will be an unrestricted free agent in 2024. The Jazz would be wise to follow the trend of locking up key players the year before they hit the market. Jazz executive Danny Ainge now has the salary-cap flexibility to do that.
There are some flaws in Vanderbilt’s game, with the Achilles heel being his three-point shooting. He’s not a player that’s going to help spread the floor, and in today's NBA that can be a problem.
Moving forward, having Vanderbilt on the floor at the same time as Jazz centers Walker Kessler and Udoka Azubuike could be a recipe for a stale half-court offense.
That being said, the pros outweigh the cons despite the shooting issues. Vanderbilt is a player that’s going to find his way onto the court, and should be a fan-favorite when Jazz Nation watches him play on a regular basis.
Jazz fans will have the opportunity to get to know Vanderbilt when the season gets underway in just 25 days.
Follow Patrick on Twitter @pbyrnesNBA.