The latest move made by the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason was another in keeping with the theme of continuity in this offseason. The team agreed to a four-year contract extension with defensive ace Jarred Vanderbilt worth $48 million.
After being acquired at the trade deadline, Vanderbilt quickly moved into the starting lineup and was a huge piece of the Lakers turnaround as the team’s primary defensive stopper. The Lakers were one of the best defensive teams in the NBA in the second half of the season and into the playoffs and Vanderbilt’s ability to guard all types of perimeter players gave the team an option they didn’t have prior.
The Lakers rewarded Vanderbilt with this extension that will kick in to start the 2024-25 season and the details on that deal are now official. According to Keith Smith of Spotrac, Vanderbilt’s extension comes with league standard 8% raises along with the player option for the final season:
Jarred Vanderbilt's extension with the Los Angeles Lakers is for the standard 8% raises, a league source told @spotrac.
Final season is a player option for Vanderbilt.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) September 19, 2023
The player option is a detail that was already known and reported, so at the least, Vanderbilt is locked in through 2027 with the possibility for that final year in 2028. Overall, it is a very reasonable contract for both the Lakers and Vanderbilt and another strong move for the front office.
One reason why this Lakers offseason is viewed favorably by so many is not just the players added and retained, but the price at which they were kept at. The best example of this is Austin Reaves who, thanks to teams being scared away at offering him a max contract, was brought back at just $14 million per year, the max the Lakers could offer. D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura were also brought back at under $20 million a year each.
Now adding Vanderbilt to that mix as another contributor on a reasonable contract and the Lakers are arguably the deepest team in the league. These moves also have given the Lakers plenty of tradable contracts should someone come available that could take this team to another level.
Jarred Vanderbilt praises LeBron James & Anthony Davis for accepting new players
Vanderbilt was one of many players acquired by the Lakers during last season and they all came together around LeBron James and Anthony Davis to push L.A. to the Western Conference Finals. And Vanderbilt credits LeBron and Davis for making things easy.
Vanderbilt praised the Lakers stars for accepting and teaching the new Lakers and making that transition so much smoother, adding that they make the game easy for players like himself.
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