Forward Jarred Vanderbilt and the Los Angeles Lakers agreed on a four-year, $48 million contract extension Friday, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The 24-year-old’s deal is fully guaranteed and contains a player option in the final year, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul and agent Erika Ruiz told Charania.
He joined the Lakers from the Utah Jazz in a three-team deal last season. Playing for four teams over his five NBA seasons, Vanderbilt was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the No. 41 pick in the 2018 draft. The 6-foot-9 Kentucky product also played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Last season, Vanderbilt averaged 7.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 26 regular-season games during the Lakers’ push to the play-in tournament. He was also a presence in the postseason, starting in 13 contests en route to the Western Conference finals.
Lakers continue to invest in young core
Superstar LeBron James alluded to retiring after the Lakers’ season-ending loss to the champion Denver Nuggets. When faced with questions about the future in Los Angeles, general manager Rob Pelinka was clear about his intention to invest in the team’s young core.
Pelinka led the Lakers through a busy offseason from that point, notching long-term contracts with Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura while retaining D’Angelo Russell. The team also signed Gabe Vincent, Christian Wood, Cam Reddish, Jaxson Hayes and Taurean Prince.
Now that James has ended the speculation he created about his retirement, he and Davis appear to have a solid roster around them.
The team will be put to the test as soon as the season tips off on Oct. 24, as the Lakers will travel to Ball Arena’s altitude to take on the Nuggets.