The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to a four-year, $48 million extension with Jarred Vanderbilt, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. Charania notes that the deal is fully guaranteed with a player option in the final season, which would be 2027-28.
The extension will begin in 2024-25, with Vanderbilt set to make $4.7M this season in the final year of his current deal, which was a team option that the Lakers exercised in June.
Locking up Vanderbilt is the latest move for a Lakers team that is starting to put together some continuity with a youthful foundation that could, perhaps, be in place for a post-LeBron era.
This summer, the Lakers, in addition to drafting Jalen Hood-Schifino with the 17th overall pick and taking a low-cost flier on Jaxson Hayes, signed 27-year-old Gabe Vincent while inking Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves, both 25, to three- and four-year extensions, respectively.
Getting Vanderbilt at an average annual salary of $12M is a good deal for both sides. At the very least, he is a defensive stud and a great mover on both sides of the ball. He has limitations, obviously. His shooting is a problem, as we saw in the Lakers' first-round playoff series when the Grizzlies basically disregarded him as an offensive threat, leaving him unguarded as Jaren Jackson Jr. roamed around as a rim-and-paint protector.
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If Vanderbilt's shooting doesn't improve, he may become unplayable for long stretches of playoff games, and certainly in fourth quarters, depending on the matchup. For the opposite reason, D'Angelo Russell is more of a regular-season innings eater, as well.
But that's not set in stone, and both guys can still have impactful postseason moments. Having a 6-foot-8 mobile defender like Vanderbilt who can disrupt on ball and chase endlessly off it is a valuable tool in any contender's kit, and the Lakers made sure to secure Vanderbilt's services on a reasonable contract that would also be palatable in a potential trade package. For all these reasons, this is good for both sides.