Jarred Vanderbilt is a versatile defender with the ability to guard forwards and guards while all the dirty work for his team, something that the Los Angeles Lakers badly needed with how their season started last year.
Vanderbilt made an immediate impact after being traded to the Lakers at the deadline, playing a big role in their late-season turnaround and Western Conference Finals run.
The Lakers went into this offseason needing to make a decision on Vanderbilt considering the last year of his contract was non-guaranteed.
To no surprise, L.A. guaranteed the forward’s contract on Jun. 27, but he then became extension-eligible at the beginning of September and a deal got done soon there after as Vanderbilt sign a four-year, $48 million extension to remain with the Lakers through the 2027-28 season with the final year being a player option.
While that is definitely something a former second round pick should be celebrating, a former teammate of his feels differently. Former Lakers guard Patrick Beverley, who played with Vanderbilt on the Minnesota Timberwolves, shared on The Pat Bev Podcast with Rone that he told him not to sign the extension with the Lakers:
“The day he signed, the day before, I texted Vando. Mind you, I don’t text Vando every day. I text him when I see an outfit and that’s what’s up or a happy birthday or a ‘bro you cool?’ Just checking in and it’s a ‘yeah, I’m alright big bro.’ Alright cool. But something told me to wake up and text Vando. Mind you, I’m waking up and going to practice. Just a regular day out of the week. I text Vando… Thursday at 8:18 am I told him ‘don’t sign an extension, trust me. Hoop, stay in shape, have fun, and I repeat, do not sign an extension. Morning, gang. I thought of you. Love, gang.’ He replied to me ‘appreciate it, gang, Why do you think it’s better to wait?’ I told him why, obviously when you sign an extension you get your worth, but when you’re signing as a free agent, you get overpaid. That’s where the overpaid title comes from, when you’re a free agent. If a lot of you young guys don’t know, overpaid is a free agent, you getting your worth is an extension. He got his worth, but for what he does, he should be overpaid. If he would’ve waited, he might’ve gotten four years, $60 million or four years, $65 million, you know what I’m saying? So he left a ton of money on the table, but it’s also hard to turn down $48 million too. And then as soon as I heard he signed it, I called him… ‘Why the f— you sign that damn deal?!’ And he said ‘gang, you know I can’t turn down $50 million.’ And I said ‘it ain’t $50 million, it’s $48 million!’ It was so funny, but I’m happy for him… I’m happy he got it, he deserves it. Obviously they got him for a bargain.”
Despite Beverley’s advice, Vanderbilt still went on the sign the extension, which seems like a fair deal for both sides as he gets a pay raise of about $8 million with an average salary of $12 million.
While betting on yourself makes sense in a lot of instances, Vanderbilt very well could have cost himself money by waiting if he doesn’t take steps forward on the offensive end of the floor this season. As someone who has bounced around the league, Vanderbilt is obviously very comfortable playing in L.A., so signing that deal and guaranteeing himself significant money made all the sense in the world.
Vanderbilt discusses challenge of guarding Warriors’ Stephen Curry in postseason
When initially traded to the Lakers, fans realized how impactful of a player Vanderbilt was with his energy and effort he plays with. But, he was instrumental in the postseason, guarding Ja Morant and Stephen Curry, among other stars. He recently shared the challenges of trying to guard Curry, chasing him around screens non-stop and not giving him any space, which is obviously easier said than done.
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