CONFIRMED: The Lakers sign a 4-year, $48 million contract extension with Jarred Vanderbilt

   

Los Angeles acquired the former Kentucky forward midway through last season.

Former Kentucky forward Jarred Vanderbilt has agreed to a 4-year, $48 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, his agent told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The deal is fully guaranteed and comes equipped with a player option in the fourth year.

After being acquired from the Utah Jazz midway through last season, Vanderbilt averaged 7.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 26 games with 24 starts in his first season with the Lakers in helping Los Angeles to a 43-39 regular season finish and an appearance in the Western Conference Finals, where they were swept by his former team, the Denver Nuggets, in four games.

In five NBA seasons with the Lakers, Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Nuggets, Vanderbilt, who is known as a high-level rebounder and defensive stopper, is averaging 6.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.0 steals in 244 career games with 162 career starts.

After two injury-riddled seasons with the Nuggets, Vanderbilt was traded to the Timberwolves, where he spent three seasons.

In the summer of 2022, Vanderbilt was then dealt to the Jazz as part of the mega-deal for three-time All-Star and three-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert.

As a freshman at Kentucky in 2017-18, the versatile 6-foot-9 forward missed the Wildcats’ first 17 games of the season after suffering a foot injury in late September.

He then missed all six of the Wildcats’ postseason games with another foot injury sustained in practice during the lead-up to the SEC Tournament in St. Louis.

But during his brief 14-game Kentucky career, Vanderbilt was a force of nature on the glass, averaging 5.9 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds.

He snatched double-digit rebounds in five of 14 games, including a career-best 15 vs. Missouri on Feb. 24 in his best game as a Wildcat, in which he also tied a career-high with 11 points.

Prior to his NBA debut on Jan. 25, 2019, Vanderbilt’s last game came in an 80-67 loss at Florida in Kentucky’s regular season finale on Mar. 3, 2018, a span of 325 days.

“I will tell you, his analytics, all those teams looking at analytics stuff, those [14] games, were off the charts,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “NBA motor, goes after balls, quick twitch, can pass it, can bounce it. Numbers, pro spirit, pro energy, NBA body all that stuff.”

Vanderbilt was originally selected by the Orlando Magic with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft but was acquired by the Nuggets in exchange for Justin Jackson, the No. 43 overall pick, and and a future second round selection.

The Nuggets signed Vanderbilt to to a 3-year, $4 million deal in July of 2018. After leading the NBA Summer League in rebounding, averaging 11.3 boards per game for the Nuggets in 2019.

Coming out of Victory Prep in Texas, Vanderbilt was ranked No. 12 overall in the 2017 class according to the industry average 247Sports Composite.

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