Jarred Vanderbilt has thrived since arriving in Los Angeles at the trade deadline. The Lakers desperately needed defense and front-court depth, and Vanderbilt has delivered on both fronts. The Lakers have the NBA's No. 2 ranked defense since the deadline, and Vanderbilt has been an essential part of it. He has quickly earned a starting job alongside Anthony Davis in the Los Angeles front court, and at just 24 years old, he could be a part of the Lakers for the foreseeable future.

At the very least, the Lakers plan to keep him around for at least one more year. Though this likely goes without saying, The Athletic's Jovan Buha has reported that the Lakers plan to exercise Vanderbilt's team option for next season, keeping him in Los Angeles for the 2023-24 campaign.

There was never much of a question that they would do this. Vanderbilt signed his current contract before breaking out as one of the NBA's more versatile defenders. His option is worth only $4.7 million, so the Lakers will be keeping a starting-caliber player for a bargain basement price. 

The league's extension rules, even after being altered in the new collective bargaining agreement, likely won't allow the Lakers to extend him at a fair price, however, so Vanderbilt will probably become a free agent in 2024. However, the Lakers will have full Bird Rights on Vanderbilt at that point and will be able to pay him anything up to the max in order to keep him.

The Lakers will still have a number of major decisions to make this offseason when it comes to building their roster. D'Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Dennis Schroder and Austin Reaves are all set for free agency. Mo Bamba and Malik Beasley have team options like Vanderbilt. The Lakers haven't even played in their first round series against the Memphis Grizzlies yet, so it would be premature to speculate on who they will prioritize keeping, but for now, at least, we can safely assume that Vanderbilt will be among the Lakers to return next season.