Lakers to exercise team option on forward Jarred Vanderbilt for 2023-24 season

Jarred Vanderbilt has been a revelation for the Los Angeles Lakers since joining them in a blockbuster trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz. The 24-year-old forward has provided the Lakers with much-needed defense, rebounding, and energy, earning a spot in the starting lineup alongside Anthony Davis.

Vanderbilt’s contract situation was a bit uncertain when he arrived in LA, as he had signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves last summer that included a team option for the 2023-24 season.

However, according to a report by Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers plan to exercise that option and keep Vanderbilt on their books for next season.

The option is worth $4.7 million, which is a bargain for a player of Vanderbilt’s caliber and potential. He averaged 8.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game for the Lakers in the regular season, while shooting 59.8 percent from the field.

He also ranked fourth in the NBA in defensive rating (102.6) and fifth in defensive win shares (3.8).

Lakers to exercise team option on forward Jarred Vanderbilt for 2023-24 season

Source: sportshub.cbsistatic

Vanderbilt’s versatility and athleticism have made him a perfect fit for the Lakers’ defensive scheme, as he can switch onto multiple positions and disrupt passing lanes. He has also developed a strong chemistry with Davis, who has praised his teammate’s hustle and impact.

“Jarred is a beast,” Davis said after a game against the Phoenix Suns in April. “He does all the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He’s always in the right place at the right time, he crashes the boards, he dives for loose balls, he sets great screens. He’s a guy that you want on your team.”

The Lakers will face the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs, and Vanderbilt will have a key role in slowing down their star point guard Ja Morant. If he continues to play at this level, he could be in line for a bigger payday when he becomes a free agent in 2024. But for now, he seems happy to be part of a championship contender in LA.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity,” Vanderbilt said. “I love playing with these guys and this organization. They’ve shown me a lot of trust and confidence. I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help us win.”

Final Thoughts: Lakers’ Plan to Keep Jarred Vanderbilt is a Smart Move

The news that the Lakers plan to exercise Jarred Vanderbilt’s team option for the 2023-24 season is a smart move for the franchise. Vanderbilt has proven himself to be a valuable contributor to the team since joining them in the trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz.

He has been a revelation for the Lakers, providing them with much-needed defense, rebounding, and energy, and has earned a spot in the starting lineup alongside Anthony Davis.

The fact that Vanderbilt’s contract situation was uncertain when he arrived in LA only adds to the value of this move. The Lakers were able to acquire a player of Vanderbilt’s caliber and potential at a bargain price, which is a testament to the team’s shrewd front office.

Vanderbilt’s versatility and athleticism have made him a perfect fit for the Lakers’ defensive scheme, and his chemistry with Davis has been a key factor in the team’s success.

Vanderbilt’s statistics speak for themselves, as he averaged 8.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game in the regular season, while shooting an impressive 59.8 percent from the field.

He also ranked fourth in the NBA in defensive rating and fifth in defensive win shares, which is a testament to his impact on that end of the floor.

The fact that Vanderbilt will have a key role in slowing down Ja Morant in the first round of the playoffs only adds to his value to the team. If he continues to play at this level, he could be in line for a bigger payday when he becomes a free agent in 2024. But for now, he seems happy to be part of a championship contender in LA.

In conclusion, the Lakers’ plan to keep Jarred Vanderbilt is a smart move for the franchise. He has proven himself to be a valuable contributor to the team and is a bargain at his current price. If he continues to play at this level, he could become a key player for the Lakers for years to come.