The Los Angeles Lakers have locked in forward Jarred Vanderbilt on a four-year, $48 million extension, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Friday.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt has agreed on a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the franchise, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul and agent Erika Ruiz told @TheAthletic @Stadium. Deal is fully guaranteed with a player option in the fourth year. pic.twitter.com/4kuLlt8zeT
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 15, 2023
NBA News: Lakers Sign Jarred Vanderbilt to Four-Year Extension
The 41st pick in 2018 (traded from Orlando to Denver), Vanderbilt was an NBA journeyman to start his career. After his rookie year with the Nuggets, he was sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Clint Capela four-team trade. Following three years of development in the Twin Cities, Vando was moved to the Utah Jazz as part of the Rudy Gobert deal. The Lakers acquired the 24-year-old at last season’s deadline alongside D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley.
Vando made his impact known immediately, dropping 15 points and 17 rebounds in his second game in purple and gold—against Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks. He remained a prominent part of LA’s rotation, and though his offensive output was meager at times, Vando proved to be a pest on defense. He consistently took on the opponent’s best players—a skill that became critical in the postseason. Vando became one of the Lakers’ best defenders, while his offensive game—primarily around the basket with the occasional three—continued to grow. Vanderbilt finished the season with a defensive rating of 111 and an offensive rating of 119.
Despite his excellent regular season, Vanderbilt’s minutes decreased in the playoffs, as did his production. In 15 games (13 starts), he averaged 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16.5 minutes a night. He shot 40% from the field, 24% from deep and 70% from the free-throw line.
Nonetheless, Vanderbilt showed flashes of potential in his first season as a Laker. It makes his new deal all the more notable.
What Vanderbilt’s New Deal Means for the Lakers
With the Lakers’ retooled roster, Vanderbilt has an opportunity to get an increased role heading into next season. As mentioned previously, Rui Hachimura is expected to start next to Anthony Davis, and the team’s center rotation is now set with Christian Wood and Jaxson Hayes. That leaves Vanderbilt as the team’s seventh or eighth man, with the likelihood of earning some run next to Davis and LeBron James in certain situations.
One intriguing lineup that Darvin Ham should deploy more often is Vanderbilt, James, Davis, Russell and Austin Reaves. They only played 77 minutes across seven games together. However, they garnered an offensive rating of 123.5 and a defensive rating of 103. It’s a promising sight for a team that established great chemistry towards the end of last season. It also speaks to Vanderbilt’s seamless fit with LA’s key players.
Overall, with Vanderbilt under contract until 2028, he’s another valuable young player for the Lakers to develop. He has shown tremendous growth over the past few months, and he’ll continue to get better under LA’s coaching staff—priming him for more minutes and a larger role in the rotation.
The Last Word
The Lakers did right by extending Vanderbilt now, securing a key role player for their future. Depending on roster construction in the coming years, Vando could remain a bench contributor or develop into a regular starter. Regardless, the momentum is on Vanderbilt’s side. He brings depth and defense to a championship-level roster, and the sky’s the limit for such a talented forward.